Basic Information

Composed by Karl King
Arranged by James Swearingen
Published by C.L. Barnhouse
Grade 2.5
Length 2 minutes 10 seconds

Teaching Concepts

Time Signature: Cut time
Key Signature: Bb, Eb
Tempo: Brisk march tempo (no specific metronome indicated)
Other Information: This is a great first traditional march for a middle school band, or for a high school band with serious instrumentation concerns. Like most traditional marches, this gives you an opportunity to work on exaggerating the style and dynamics. Additionally, the rhythms are simplistic enough that this could be used as an introduction to cut time, or to reinforce the concept.

Program Notes

Karl King was a true master at writing easier marches and “Valley Forge” is one of his nicest. Just one time through the Trio of this march and you’ll know immediately why this was one of King’s most popular marches. James Swearingen’s new arrangement, with full concert band instrumentation, subtle rescoring and careful editing, guarantees “Valley Forge” to be a perfect choice for concert or contest use. Unbeatable!

Small School Considerations

Like Rough Riders, the only major hurdle you will face in playing this march in a small band might be the lack of a horn section. The upbeats are only present in that part. Depending on your circumstances you might find that the upbeats in the snare drum are enough, but if you do not consider adding the alto saxophone or trombone to cover the part.


Bb Clarinet 1, 2, 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1, 2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet 1, 2, 3
Horn 1, 2, 3, 4 (2 and 4 are the same)
Trombone 1, 2, 3
String Bass

Percussion Requirements and Possible Substitutions

Snare Drum
Bass Drum

To cover every part you will need five players. The timpani part reinforces the bass line throughout, and should be played if you are lacking in the bass line. If you cannot cover all of the parts, consider playing bass drum when you are at a louder dynamic and crash cymbals at the softer dynamics. The bell part outlines the upper woodwinds (usually the flutes) and gives a nice effect to the part, but can be left out if necessary.

Link to Available Recording and Score

Score available at C.L. Barnhouse.
Recording available at C.L. Barnhouse.


Valley Forge on C.L. Barnhouse.
Score for Valley Forge