Mockbeggar Variations

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Mockbeggar Variations by Guy Woolfenden

Prelude, Theme and Five Variations

Unlike my other pieces for concert band, Mockbeggar Variations has no roots in any of my work for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but resulted from a commission by Robert Roscoe for the Berkshire Youth Wind Orchestra, with funds provided by the Berkshire Young Musicians Trust. Robert, on learning that I was stuck for a suitable title, and noting my penchant for the unusual, suggested the address of the Trust – Mockbeggar House – might take my fancy.

The Prelude hints at the melodic and harmonic material of the Theme, which appears in the thirty-first bar, distributed between various solo instruments and small groups of players. The five succeeding variations are contrasted in mood, tempo, style and instrumentation.

A large part of the score was written in a chalet high in the Swiss Alps with a continual clangour of sixteen different pitches of cow bell constantly ringing in my ears. There is no Mahlerian hint of this in the music, nor was my wife, Jane, successful in shooing the cows away or muffling their bells…..!


Mockbeggar Variations


Guy Woolfenden


7 minutes


USA Band Grade 4.5

Year composed


Date of publication


First performance

Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester 20th July 1991
British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles Conference
Berkshire County Youth Wind Orchestra conducted by Robert Roscoe


Berkshire County Music Service, Reading, England


Doyen CD DOY 042 Gallimaufry, featuring the wind music of Guy Woolfenden
Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra conducted by Guy Woolfenden

Dinmore Records DRD 272 world-wide-woolfenden
Birmingham Symphonic Winds conducted by Keith Allen

  • 979-0-57009-338-0 [Complete set]
  • 979-0-57009-339-7 [Full score]
No. of Pages



Wind Orchestra

Full instrumentation
Full score (1) TIMPANI
Piccolo (1) 3 Pedal Drums
Flute 1 (3) PERCUSSION 1
Flute 2 (3) Glockenspiel
Oboe 1 (1) Vibraphone
Oboe 2 (1) PERCUSSION 2
Eb Clarinet (1) Side Drum
Bb Clarinet 1 (3) Bass Drum
Bb Clarinet 2 (3) PERCUSSION 3
Bb Clarinet 3 (3) Clash Cymbals
Eb Alto Clarinet (2) Suspended Cymbal
Bb Bass Clarinet (2) Wood Blocks
Bassoon 1 (1) Tambourine
Bassoon 2 (1) Bass Drum
Eb Alto Saxophone 1 (1) PERCUSSION 4
Eb Alto Saxophone 2 (1) Clash Cymbals
Bb Tenor Saxophone (1) Suspended Cymbal
Eb Baritone Saxophone (1) Tom Toms
Bb Trumpet 1 (2) Tam Tam
Bb Trumpet 2 (2) Bass Drum
Bb Trumpet 3 (2)
F Horn 1 (1) Alternative transpositions supplied:
F Horn 2 (1) Eb Horn 1 (1)
F Horn 3 (1) Eb Horn 2 (1)
F Horn 4 (1) Eb Horn 3 (1)
Trombone 1 (1) Eb Horn 4 (1)
Trombone 2 (1) Bb Trombone 1 TC (1)
Trombone 3 (1) Bb Trombone 2 TC (1)
Euphonium (1) Bb Trombone 3 TC (1)
Tuba (4) Bb Euphonium TC (1)
String Bass (1) Bb Bass TC (1)
Timpani (1) Bb Trombone 1 BC (1)
Percussion 1 (1) Bb Trombone 2 BC (1)
Percussion 2 (1) Bb Trombone 3 BC (1)
Percussion 3 (1) Eb Bass TC (1)
Percussion 4 (1) Eb Bass BC (1)
Bb Bass BC (1)
Bb Baritone BC (1)

Press & Public Reviews

Mockbeggar Variations… a delightful blend of textures along the tried and tested method of Prelude, Theme and five Variations. I think this is the real gem of the disc, and I listened to it over and over again for new sounds and combinations of colour.

Winds Magazine

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Mockbeggar Variations

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