Hershy Kay

(1919 - 1981)
The American composer Hershy Kay was born in November 1919 in Philidelphia, USA. He trained at the Curtis Institute in composition, but was self-taught as an orchestrator. It is for his orchestrations, particularly for the stage, that he is known today. After several smaller projects, Kay's career took off with the orchestration of Bernstein's On The Town in 1944. Shortly, he found himself one of the most sought-after orchestrators on Broadway. His scores include works by Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Harvey Schmidt, Cy Coleman and Andrew Lloyd Webber. His work on ballet scores, particularly in collaboration with George Balanchine is also well known. He created ballet scores for Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, The Royal Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. Two of his best-known works are Western Symphony, based on traditional American folk melodies, which he wrote for Balanchine, and his reconstruction of Gottschalk's Grande Tarantelle for piano and orchestra, which Balanchine choreographed as Tarantella. Kay also orchestrated works for Broadway including Bernstein's Candide (1956) and wrote many film scores and original compositions.

Hershy Kay Composition Timpani and Percussion Requirements


No Timpani + 1 percussion
2 octaves crotales, tubular bells, xylophone, tom toms, clash cymbals, suspended cymbal, triangle, maracas, 3 temple blocks, wood block, orchestral bass drum, snare drum, tambourine


Timpani + 1 percussion
Gong, tubular bells, clash cymbals, orchestral bass drum, snare drum, military snare drum


Timpani + 1 percussion
2 octaves crotales, glockenspiel, clash cymbals, tam tam, tambourine

Stars and Stripes

No Timpani + 4 percussion
Glockenspiel, xylophone, tom tom, 2 suspended cymbals, clash cymbals, tam tam, triangle, wood block, orchestral bass drum, 2 snare drums, tambourine, tenor drum

Western Symphony

Timpani + 2 percussion
Tubular bells, vibraphone, xylophone, cowbells, clash cymbals, suspended cymbal, triangle, wood block, orchestral bass drum, snare drum, whistle

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