S. P. Q. R.

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s. p. q. r.

  1. Fosse Way
  2. Notturno
  3. Via Appia

S. P. Q. R. was commissioned as part of the Warwickshire County Council centenary celebrations in 1988 and my response was to delve even further back than a mere one hundred years, to encompass the Roman occupation of Britain, which lasted 350 years from AD 43. The standard of the Roman legions often carried the letters S. P. Q. R: Senatus Populusque Romanus – The Senate and People of Rome.

Among the lasting monuments to this long occupation is the amazing system of roads, one of which, the Fosse Way, bisects the county of Warwickshire from south-west to north-east. Four of the major areas of modern Warwickshire: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Rugby, and Nuneaton and Bedworth, lie adjacent to this mighty thoroughfare.

S. P. Q. R. attempts to juxtapose and contrast the ancient and indissoluble links between rural and urban Warwickshire and the might of ancient Rome. Thus the river Avon becomes a tributary of the Tiber and the Fosse Way joins the Via Appia: All roads lead to Rome!


S. P. Q. R.


Guy Woolfenden


12 minutes


USA Band Grade 5

Year composed


Date of publication


First performance

Bedworth Civic Hall, Warwickshire on 18th September 1988
Warwickshire County Wind Band conducted by the composer


Warwickshire County Council as part of its Centenary Celebrations
with financial assistance from West Midlands Arts


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

Dinmore Records DRD 272 world-wide-woolfenden
Birmingham Symphonic Winds conducted by Matthew George

  • 979-0-57009-286-4 [Complete set]
  • 979-0-57009-287-1 [Full score]
No. of Pages



Wind Orchestra

Full instrumentation
Full score (1) TIMPANI
Piccolo (1) 3 Pedal Drums
Flute 1 (3)
Flute 2 (3) PERCUSSION 1
Oboe 1 (1) Cymbals
Oboe 2 (1) Suspended Cymbal
Eb Clarinet (1) Sleigh Bells
Bb Clarinet 1 (3) 3 Tom Toms
Bb Clarinet 2 (3) Tam Tam
Bb Clarinet 3 (3) Tubular Bells: D, Eb, G
Eb Alto Clarinet (2)
Bb Bass Clarinet (2) PERCUSSION 2
Bassoon 1 (1) Side Drum
Bassoon 2 (1)
Contrabassoon (1) PERCUSSION 3
Eb Alto Saxophone 1 (1) Bass Drum
Eb Alto Saxophone 2 (1) Tam Tam
Bb Tenor Saxophone (1)
Eb Baritone Saxophone (1) * Tam Tam: only one Tam Tam
Bb Trumpet 1 (2) needed between Percussion 1 & 3
Bb Trumpet 2 (2)
Bb Trumpet 3 (2) Alternative transpositions supplied:
F Horn 1 (1) Eb Horn 1 (1)
F Horn 2 (1) Eb Horn 2 (1)
F Horn 3 (1) Eb Horn 3 (1)
F Horn 4 (1) Eb Horn 4 (1)
Trombone 1 (1) Bb Trombone 1 TC (1)
Trombone 2 (1) Bb Trombone 2 TC (1)
Trombone 3 (1) Bb Trombone 3 TC (1)
Euphonium (1) Bb Euphonium TC (1)
Tuba (4) Bb Bass TC (1)
String Bass (1) Bb Trombone 1 BC (1)
Timpani (1) Bb Trombone 2 BC (1)
Percussion 1 (1) Bb Trombone 3 BC (1)
Percussion 2 (1) Eb Bass TC (1)
Percussion 3 (1) Eb Bass BC (1)
Bb Bass BC (1)
Bb Baritone BC (1)

Press & Public Reviews

..…full of imagery and colour. Great fun to play and enjoyable to listen to, with a gathered energy apparent throughout. Woolfenden creates textures and soundscapes that are identifiable to the layman and approachable for the serious musician.                                                                                                                                

Winds Magazine

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S. P. Q. R.

I. Fosse Way
II. Notturno
III. Via Appia