Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Thomas G. Leslie, Chair

Second Committee Member

Dean Gronemeier

Third Committee Member

Jonathan Good

Fourth Committee Member

Anthony LaBounty

Graduate Faculty Representative

Clarence Gilyard

Number of Pages



Colonel John R. Bourgeois (b. 1934), Director Emeritus of the United States Marine Band, "The President's Own," has acquired an international reputation in the wind band profession through his exemplary leadership of "The President's Own" as well as dynamic recording and commissioning. Notwithstanding, very little information concerning Bourgeois's life is available. Through a series of meetings, beginning in October 2008, and culminating in a three-day interview in February 2011, I have collected a substantial body of biographical data, including candid narration of important musical and personal events spanning Bourgeois's artistic life.

Bourgeois's reputation has fostered the writing and publication of his transcriptions, which have enhanced the literature of wind bands and is evident in his "Bourgeois Editions," printed by Wingert-Jones Publications. The introduction of obscure orchestral pieces into the wind band repertoire makes his work especially unique. Scholarly publications focusing on transcription technique are generally few in number, and are limited in scope to interpretation- and review-based opinion. I will identify, analyze and discuss scoring tendencies and practices in four of his recent transcriptions in depth, which will validate my assertion regarding the merits of his transcriptions as enhancements of wind band repertoire.

The three transcriptions selected for study include Richard Wagner's Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral, Peter Illych Tchaikovsky's Dances from The Oprichnik, and Three Dances from The Maid of Orleans. These pieces were selected based on diversity of styles and string techniques, acceptance into the wind band repertoire, and artistic merit in accordance with Bourgeois's judgment. Johan Halvorsen's In Memoriam was also selected to demonstrate Bourgeois's writing process, including a series of revisions through the 2008-2009 concert season.

I will examine and compare each transcription to its orchestral counterpart. Bourgeois's treatment of original string parts will be noted, in addition to the retention or enhancement of original wind parts. Finally, I will diagnose consistencies of melody, harmony, and balance, and in closure, recommend a general framework for a successful wind band transcription.


Analysis; Arrangement (Music); Bands (Music); Bourgeois; John R.; Marine; Transcription; United States Marine Band


Military and Veterans Studies | Music

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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