Gettysburg is an American symphonic poem depicting a countryside landscape during this pivotal battle of the American Civil War.

The Victoria Symphony Orchestra (of Victoria, Texas) gave a fantastic world-premiere performance on January 27, 2018 under the direction of Darryl One.

Gettysburg was recently selected as a finalist for the 2018-2019 American Prize!


Full Orchestra – Single Movement (5:20 performance time)

Gettysburg features memorable melodies, strong imagery with widely varied orchestration, and a heroic and optimistic conclusion. It is ideally suited for a pops, educational, Americana, or “film music” type concert.

Recommended for professional or semi-professional groups. (Not yet graded for difficulty.)


Flute 1
Flute 2
Flute 3 (Piccolo)
Oboe 1
Oboe 2
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bass Clarinet
Bassoon 1
Bassoon 2

F Horn 1
F Horn 2
F Horn 3
F Horn 4
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Bass Trombone

Percussion (Tam-Tam, Sus. Cymbal, Piatti, Triangle, Snare Drum I, Snare Drum II, Bass Drum, Chimes, Glockenspiel)

Violin I
Violin II

Program Notes

“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” —Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg (2016) is an American symphonic poem depicting a countryside landscape before, during, and after war.

The piece begins with an idyllic exposition of two themes played by a progression of soloists. Just as the full orchestra begins to come together, a lone trumpet interrupts, and the music suddenly turns dark: battle is here, now, unexpected. A series of restless, colorful vignettes suggest confused scouting, church bells ringing alarm, and the mustering of two armies. An ascending horn motif creates a thread of rising tension, which builds through a barrage of percussive “artillery fire,” finally breaking into a rousing brass fanfare and the climactic return of both themes. The militant “B” theme charges forward valiantly, but is ultimately washed away by the soaring “A” theme. At last, calm returns, and as the battle fades into memory, the soloists’ voices weave together: old soldiers, passing the story down.

Conor Brace (born 1983) is a composer and trumpet player from Austin, Texas.

Currently seeking a publisher!

In the meantime, if your orchestra would like to play Gettysburg, please feel free to contact the composer directly, via the “Contact” link at the top of the page.