Jubilee 350 Fanfare
Subtitled “To the City of Boston” and scored for full orchestra, John Williams composed this fanfare for the 350th anniversary of Boston in 1980. He premiered the work conducting the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra on September 21, 1980, at an outdoor concert at City Hall Plaza. Williams remarked at the time that the piece contains “all of the flourish commensurate with this type of affair. In my mind, it’s a tribute to a great city. It has a high energy level and an exciting kind of feeling, I hope.”
Just over three minutes in length, the work opens with a bold E♭-major statement from the horns, soon joined by the trumpets and then the full complement of brass and percussion. Strings enter with a playful, fugue-like subject over an E♭ pedal in the bass. As they repeat this tune, brass and woodwind propel the music forward. The horns then announce a broader, more lyrical theme, repeated with counterpoint from the violins and finally taken up by the strings. The opening fanfare returns, this time accompanied by all manner of bells and woodwind flourishes. The violins pick up their playful tune, joined by trumpets as the fanfare concludes in a blaze of D♭ major.
The first of many Williams fanfares for various public celebrations, Jubilee 350 is also one of the best, yet despite Williams’ frequent performances of the work during his years with the Boston Pops he did not record the fanfare for nearly two decades after its premiere. In June of 2000, he led the Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles in a performance for the album American Journey (Sony Classical SK 89364, released on January 15, 2002).
The orchestral score and parts to this work are not commercially available, nor has any arrangement ever been published.
- “Boston’s birthday bash,” Linda Matchan
The Boston Globe, 18 September 1980
- “They clapped, swayed, danced, sang,” Kenneth J. Cooper and John E. Yang
The Boston Globe, 22 September 1980