March of the Little Goblins

Score and parts are available for rent by the composer. Please contact Adam Glaser at (203) 253-1962, or

Adam Glaser's March of the Little Goblins received its premiere by the University of Michigan Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras under the composer’s direction in Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor on October 26, 1997, opening the University of Michigan’s annual Halloween concert. Since then, it has tallied over 60 performances by 25 orchestras, including:

1. Philadelphia Orchestra (Andre Raphel Smith)
2. Utah Symphony Orchestra (Bundit Ungrangsee)
3. Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Tania Miller)
4. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Tania Miller)
5. Victoria Symphony Orchestra (Tania Miller)
6. Phoenix Symphony Orchestra (Benjamin Rous)
7. Illinois Symphony Orchestra (Adam Glaser, Kenneth Kiesler)
8. Rhode Island Philharmonic (Francisco Noya)
9. Long Island Philharmonic (David Lockington)
10. New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (David Lockington)
11. South Bend Symphony Orchestra (Tsung Yeh)
12. Naples Philharmonic (Ya-Hui Wang)
13. Richmond Symphony Orchestra (Sarah Hatsuko Hicks)
14. New Hampshire Symphony (Kenneth Kiesler)
15. Boston Landmarks Orchestra (Charles Ansbacher)
16. Anderson (IN) Symphony Orchestra (Rick Sowers)
17. University of Michigan Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras (Adam Glaser, Kenneth Kiesler)
18. Central Washington University Orchestra (Nikolas Caoile)
19. Walled Lake (MI) High School Orchestra (Valerie Palmieri)
20. William and Mary Symphony Orchestra (Akiko Fujimoto)
21. Cornell University and Ithaca College Orchestras (Chris Younghoon Kim)
22. Regina Symphony Orchestra (Tania Miller)
23. Toledo Symphony Orchestra (Jeffrey Pollock)
24. National Symphony Orchestra (Ankush Bahl)
25. Meridian Symphony Orchestra (Jim Ogle)

Performance note:
March of the Little Goblins" can be performed in either of two scenarios:
[1] a 4-minute “Concert Version," as written, or
[2] a 5- to 10-minute “Entrance Version," bringing the orchestra on stage section-by-section (e.g. to kick off a Halloween concert) during a repeated vamp which leads directly into the piece itself.

Performance note is printed in score and each part, as follows:

1) “Concert version": Perform as written.

2) “Entrance Version": Begin at letter “A" and repeat the two-measure vamp (mm. 29-30) while walking on-stage, continuing as necessary until the entire ensemble is seated. The percussion arrives last, as the tenor/snare drums’ entrance signals the final repeat. (The entrance order should begin with the basses – perhaps already on stage – and end with the percussion. Beyond this, any order which best suits the ensemble/hall is fine.) – A.G.

Instrumentation: 3*33*3-4331-tmp+3-str

2 Flutes
3 Oboes
E-flat Clarinet (optional)
2 B-flat Clarinets
Bass Clarinet in B-flat
2 Bassoons
4 Horns in F
3 Trumpets in B-flat
3 Trombones
Timpani (also covers Vibraslap)
Percussion (3 players):
Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tenor Drum, Crash Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal, Police Whistle, Slide Whistle, Cowbell, Woodblock, Flexatone, Duck Call (or Bike Horn)

Introduction (for school guides, ad lib for youth and family performances, etc.)

“March of the Little Goblins" depicts a little-known secret about Halloween. Every year at the stroke of midnight, after all the little trick-or-treaters have gone to sleep, a gigantic gaggle of grizzly ghosts and ghoulish goblins emerge for a little Halloween parade of their own. One by one they gather together very quietly…until finally the drum major orders a cadence, and the whole motley crew quickly falls in line. Thus begins a rather fiendish march through the empty moonlit streets. At first, they’re hushed, because these goblins don’t want to cause a raucous and wake up the town…or do they?!…

Copyright 1997 Adam Glaser

Updated: 8/1/14