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October began at a restaurant in Chicago, when I was first introduced to Brian Anderson. Brian, a high school band director from Fremont, Nebraska, knew my work and wanted to commission me, but couldn’t find the finances. If I remember correctly I didn’t immediately hear back from him, and I just assumed the gig would never materialize.

About a year later I get this phone call from him and he says that he has put together a commissioning consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska. 30 bands! I’ve dealt with institutional bureaucracy for a while now and I can’t possibly imagine how he brought all of those people together, let alone get them to agree on a commission.

Writing a ‘grade three’ work was an entirely different challenge. It’s easy to write your way out of a difficult corner with flashy, virtuosic material, but with ‘easier’ music your solutions must be simple, elegant, and functional. I worked hard to create a piece that could be successfully performed by all of the high schools in the consortium, yet never compromised its musical integrity. Frankly, writing ‘easy’ music is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughn Williams, Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.

I’m quite happy with the end result, especially because I feel there just isn’t enough lush, beautiful music written for winds. October was premiered on May 14th, 2000, and is dedicated to Brian Anderson, the man who brought it all together.

October is available from all good retailers including Musicroom, Hal Leonard and J.W. Pepper.

  • ysr

    october is my favorite piece written by you. yes it is one of the 'easier' musics but it sill has, like you said, the musical integrity. the piece is not hard to be mastered. when you play the one part, the line is very simple and sound like nothing special. but when all the parts are played together, it creates unbelievebly beautiful melody. there is just so much tension in each chord, and when its finally resolved,the harmony in the room is incredible. thats what makes the music fun. thank you so much for such great music :)

    • Barbara Winkler

      I just heard this piece last night (Dec. 19, 2012) as part of the program for the Ashland High School’s Symphonic Band in which my daughter plays clarinet. John Soderberg, the teacher, introduced this piece by saying that while is seems sad at certain points it also is celebratory. As most of us in the U.S. know the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. had just taken place and AHS students were talking about it in their “supervisory” class sessions. There was a lot of support for hand gun and automatic weapons to be banned.

      Eric Whitacre’s “October” certainly stands on its own as a gorgeous piece of music It is also moving and evocative, I love Fall as my
      favorite season of the year – even more than Spring – for the same reason October is Whitacre’s favorite month. But at this moment in time it couldn’t have been more relevant – sad and hopeful at the same time. I am hoping that we will take some real action in response to these horrible events. Meantime I will enjoy Whitacre’s music now that I was introduced it – by a symphonic high school band.

  • Razanne

    This is one of my favorite pieces that you've written. As an oboe player, I hope to one day be able to play this with my band. Thank you so much for all the beautiful music that you've shared with the world :]

  • Brad Sampson

    My Sophomore year in high school, we played October for State Band Festival. This piece profoundly changed the way that I look at music. I was taken back by the simple beauty of the melodic lines. The ending especially touched me, where the first theme is brought back and ends with the Added 9th/Mu major chord. I really gained an appreciation for simplicity in music as our band tried to perfect October, and it remains one of my favorite pieces ever composed.

  • Seth Robinson

    I was first introduced to your work through "October", and i have to say, I listened to it, over and over and over, completely captivated from start to finish every time. I'm a composer myself and I find it easy to agree with you on the comment that there isn't enough lush, beautiful music for wind ensemble, (with the exception of Frank Ticheli.) Lots and lots of beauty lies in simplicity I've come to find, and I believe that because of the "simplicty", this piece connects to musician of all levels as well as the common listener. At the start, it draws my out and sets me in a place I never knew existed and it never leaves me unsatisfied at the end, and that's something you can't say about most music. I will never hear another wind ensemble work that equals the beauty and magnificence of "October". Maybe I'll get enough inspiration and take a whack at a wind ensemble composition! If your not too busy, feel free to have a listen to some of my orchestral compositions! Just follow the website URL!

    • Sarah

      I was also introduced to his work through 'October' (actually it was only a few days ago I was introduced to his music!) and I have found myself coming home and listening to this same song over and over and over again!

  • James Perry

    Go Rutgers Wind Ensemble!! I'm going there next year and can't wait to dive into Mason Gross =D

  • Jill

    Mr. Whitacre,

    I am conducting "October" tomorrow in my instrumental conducting class. I'm very nervous, as it is my first time conducting an ensemble like that. Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy this piece!

    Thank you, sir!


    • Eric


      Good luck tomorrow… I know you'll be brilliant!

      Warmest regards,

  • Chris Hanson

    Dear Mr. Whitacre,

    I am currently a senior in high school, planning on going into music next year in college. My freshman year, well before I was interested in music as my career, my band sightread this piece and considered performing it for the final concert of the year. It was the first piece of music I had ever gotten goosebumps while playing. Even though that feeling is much more frequent now, I still have a soft spot in my heart for this piece.

    The thing that breaks my heart, looking back on my freshman year, is that we decided not to do it, because the general consensus of the band was that it was "too easy". The fact that so many people involved in music can lose sight of the musical value of simple melodic lines simply makes me want to weep. And it's not simply that it was your music. We played Ghost Train the year after, and we are playing Godzilla Eats Las Vegas this year. It simply makes me sad I never had the privilege to play on such a beautiful piece in concert.

    I have to say, you are definitely my favorite composer. Your music finds ways to pull at human emotions like nothing else possibly can. Your choral works are simply spectacular, and I've been lucky enough to perform a couple of them during my high school years. Your music has truly been one of my inspirations in continuing on in music, and I have to give you my unending thanks for this.


  • Philip Barrett

    You're an inspiration to me.

  • Sarah

    I am in our High school's symphonic band, and we played this piece for festival…it was by far my favorite, despite the subtle challenges it provides, such as tuning and interpretation. It came together beautifuly at the preformance, raising goosebumps on us the band and the audience as well. You wrote an amazing piece- I hope I can do something like this one day. Great job!

  • Ray

    Hmmm, I can see how this would be an "easy piece," technically, but it's so incredibly difficult musically that GMEA graded it a level six for LGPE. This is absolutely my favorite song for winds by Eric, and I hope I can perform this one day.

    • Michael

      Hey Ray, I live in GA, and I do agree this piece is very difficult! It may not be difficult technically (rhythms, etc) However it is very lyrically difficult! Capturing the emotion of the piece is difficult. Also, maintaining the balance between the thinly orchestrated sections is difficult too! Also, keeping the intonation intact will probably be the greatest challenge in this piece. However, it is very beautiful! I'm a sophomore in High School, an I compose myself! This is one of my favorite pieces! It is beautifully written! And to those of you who claim there isn't much lush, beautiful pieces for winds, that's a lie, you just have to know where to look! I suggest looking at some of Hazo's pieces such as "Their Blossoms Down" or "Solas Ane" Very beautiful! Great job, Mr. Whitacre.

  • Garrett

    Hey Eric. I'll start by saying you are far and away my favorite composer. I'm a junior at Butler High School in North Carolina and our wind ensemble will be premiering the wind arrangement of "The Seal Lullaby" tomorrow night. It is a fantastic piece in both choral and wind arrangements.

    October is one of my very favorite pieces of music. I only hope to one day be able to create the same emotional effects with music that you do on a daily basis.

    As an aside, I wish you the best with your fellowship at Cambridge University. I studied at Cambridge over the summer in 2008 and it was the best experience of my life. I'm sure you've been, but It's such an amazing town. And don't pass up our opportunity to walk on the grass! Not everyone is so fortunate. :)

    Thank you for gracing us all with your musical genius.

  • julian gibbons

    Dear Eric,

    I conduct a good wind band germany, black forest, and we have done Ghost Train which was great fun..sadly only 1st movt. I want to programm Equus now and possibly october. We have also done Lux Arumque. I thoroughly enjoy your music..its great and I cant wait to get into equus (I was with the national youth band of canada as they performed it recently). I aso conduct a symphony orchestr in Basel, switzerland and am wondering if october would fit as an encore or last piece in my next rogramme: Mendelssohn Hebrides ov, Mozart Clar Concerto and second half Schubert Unfinished. However it seems a pity not to include the wind/brass players if I did october. Di you only conceive it for strings or could you add wind/brass parts? just a thought. greetings from Vancouver at present, on sabbatical.

  • Alex Crenshaw

    This piece profoundly changed my life. I discovered it shortly after my father passed away a few years ago. At first, I was astounded by this piece's woundrous beauty and vivid imagery, but later, I began to draw paralells between the progression of the music and how we progress through our lives. To me, this piece illustrates a peaceful, prosperous time that has been disrupted by sorrow and uncertainty, but slowly, we move forward again and before long, we find ourselves again at peace with the world. I'm not exactly sure if that progression of ideas was intentional, but it reminds me every day that even though season change, snow falls, and days grow cold, life goes on and life is still beautiful. Thank you for giving me hope in a time when I needed it the most, Mr. Whitacre.


    P.S. I can't wait to perform with you in New York! (Riverview High School Sharks!)

  • James Conces

    Absolutely a gorgeous piece! This is easily my favorite piece I've had the fortune of playing. Those suspensions and resolutions just knock my socks off!

  • David Wilkinson

    This piece will surely go down in history as harkening back to the Romantics, no doubt about it. RVW's Lark Ascending, Elgar as well. Even some of the Choral music harkens back to Bruckner, and others. You are so able to channel those fine composers and meanwhile put your modern spin on what flows out. You don't see that every day sir and I say bravo.

  • Bill Drayton

    This evening I discovered Eric Whitacre's music for the first time. What a revelation! This is the music of heaven or could viery well be! Eric, whether you believe it or nor, God has entrusted you with a message to give through the sounds of voice and musical instrument. I feel sure you have witnessed people singing when the sound "takes off" into a totally different dimension. I heard such a sound yesterday evening in a church. It is a sound which you rarely hear!

  • Christina

    Where can I buy a copy of this recording?? I'm in love with the string beautiful.

  • Bill Drayton

    This is a very beautiful piece. I do indeed hear the influence of composers such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams. For example, the latter's "The Lark Ascending".

  • Jake

    I was a Sophomore at Fremont High when this was debuted by our Junior/Senior Band. I was somewhat angry at the time of not being able to play it, but completely taken away when they began. The musicianship put into this piece is really something special. Still one of my favorite pieces of music I've heard my old music department play.

  • Savannah

    I absolutly love this song! My high school orchestra is playing it this month for our October concert (what a coincidence). I absolutly love my teacher for picking this song for us to play. I play 2nd violin and sometimes we can have boring parts as well as violas, cellos, and basses but this song gives every instrument a chance to shine. It's a beautiful song and definatly reminds me of October. Awesome job with this song!

  • Seairra Goettler

    I have decided that when I get married, October will be my first dance music, but String Orchestra version.

  • Peter Schipper

    We played this in my high school band (not very well… but we still played it…)

    As a (then principle) trumpet player, thank you so much Mr. Whitacre for making such a wonderful brass part! I love the chords in the trumpet section around the 6 minute mark! shivers every time!

  • Samantha

    I am a clarinet major and have played this piece twice now and the music still moves in me anytime I play or hear it. I am coaching a high school winter guard and we are using October for our competition show. I can't wait to write the equipment work for it.

    • Alicia

      (I don't know if you'll see this below, so I'm going to repeat myself.)

      I wish you were my coach!!! Not that I don't like mine, but now I'm jealous of your guard because they get to perform to this beautiful music.

  • Sophia

    This will forever be my favorite piece that I have had the pleasure of playing or listening to. I played this my freshman year of high school, it's now my senior year and I ask my band director every day when we will bring it back out for us to play. Unfortunately, he will not repeat it until after we'e gone. However, we do play many of your works. Right now we're working on Lux Aurumque for winds. Your work continues to amaze me.

  • David Brock

    I think as someone said above, music does not need to be complex to be beautiful. Some of the best music in the world I believe is simple. We play complex difficult technical music on all of our concerts, and one day our director pulled out a grade two piece and I think it was the favorite of everyone in the ensemble and the audience. October is one of my favorite pieces of all time.

  • Alicia

    I am currently a senior (in the colorguard-very close to the band) at my high school. Our band played Ghost Train when i was a freshman, and Godzilla Eats Las Vegas later that year. Throughout high school, these were among the most memorable pieces, but it wasn't until they played October that I realized just how amazing your music is, Mr. Whitacre. I can hear the simplicity of it, but if it was more complicated, it wouldn't be beautiful like it is.

    I'd also like to say that I'm convinced this is the song that won my band $5000 at the first annual SF Fleet Week Band Challenge.

    Oh, and I am extremely jealous of the guard that the above Samantha is coaching!!

  • Sam Thurston

    I couldn't agree more with everyone who has commented at how inspiring and truly beautiful this piece is. I played this back in high school, and to this day I cannot find another piece that has affected me like October. There is so much literature (both wind ensemble and orchestra) that I absolutely love, but nothing has spoken to me like this. Truthfully, words cannot describe my love for this piece. Bravo.

  • Blas Garcia

    Mr. Whitacre,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful piece of music! I played this in my high school band in 2005 and to this day it has been the highlight of my musical career. Whenever I can't sleep at night I listen to this still and it always does the trick. Thank you again for this simple yet awe inspiring arrangement

  • Kelly Jones

    So much longing in this song, especially at the 3:10 mark. Really inspires me to craft my writing around this music.

  • Meg

    This song.. is.. so full of emotion, almost creating more then one emotional high point. Thank you very much for this. I am currently playing this song in my high school, and I absolutely love it. Thank you, again.

  • Ben Ratliff

    This is my favorite piece of music. Ever. Runner-up is not even close. This captures about any peaceful emotion possible all into one composition, and definitely fits the month of October, which happens to be my favorite part. I played this my junior year of high school at festival, and the amount of emotion we displayed was amazing. Goosebumps were common during good run-throughs. Heck, even during some bad ones, I still got goosebumps. This piecee definitely inspired me to begin composing, and I always listen back on it when I lack motivation.

  • Louie

    Oh my god. This song made me cry the first time I heard it. Its so beautiful and well written. He is one of the reasons why im majoring in music composition and performance in college. And its a plus that eric is sexy as hell too. ;)

  • Emma

    This piece is one of the greatest musical contributions to the modern world. I was born in October, and it also happens to be my favorite month, when the air grows just a little cold and the leaves suddenly brighten like fire. I am an oboist who had the pleasure of playing this piece in High School, and dearly hope to play it once more now in college. Every single time I hear or perform this piece I cry; every aspect of it, every intrinsic detail IS October. It is the only composition I have found myself able to perform without getting nervous at soloing. The music in you is proof to me that there is a higher meaning to life. You help me grow in faith through music, and I can't thank you enough for that.

  • Askel

    This was my favorite piece I played in high school. It's amazing, it's been almost six years since I played this and yet it still stands out in my memory.

    Thank you for such a wonderful piece of music. It is wonderful to play and listen to.

  • Nita Morgan

    Out of the ten years I've been playing music, this is the only piece that gives me chills every time I play it. October is my favorite month as well, and I think you captured it absolutely perfectly. I especially love the tension/release chords that ring in the concert hall. Thank you so much sir, for creating beautiful music. You are my inspiration (I'm going into music as my major), and I thank you for doing what you do. Without you, band geeks like myself would be out of a fantastic time.

  • Viki Kamenov

    Dear Mr.Whitacre,

    I could hardly say that October is my favorite month, but for sure your lovely peace of work will make love October more and more :-)!Thank you for this graceful impression!

    have a nice weekend!

    Greetings from Bulgaria!

  • Alex Quigley

    Just as many people have stated above, October is my favorite piece that you have written. Everything about it paints a perfect image in my mind about that crispness of the month, the slightly reddish tones to the world, and how a sense of winter sneaks up behind you. I am a Euphonium player and if it weren't for this piece, I never would have been able to do a solo in my Wind Ensemble. I thank you for writing it, for it helped make my a dream of mine come true. And, it's not only this piece that inspires me, it is ever one of your works. They bring a deeper meaning to music for me, and let me see the world in a different way.

  • Garrett

    Hi guys, I am a Sophmore trumpet player in the Winnetonka Pride band in Kansas City Missouri. We are going to Carnegie Hall for our second time on easter of 2011. We will be playing this piece of music, along with some other great ones. In my opinion this piece is one of the greatest that I have ever heard, and I enjoy playing this piece alot. Thank you Eric for your great work! :D

  • Joseph Spence

    Hey Mr. Whitacre,

    I absolutely love this piece. It is the only piece that has ever brought tears to my entire wind ensemble and the only piece in which they unanimously agree is the most fun to play. Having heard both the wind symphony and string versions, it has come to my attention that this piece would be absolutely fantastic with both colors of the strings and the winds, and an arrangement/transcription of such would be fantastic, and even more bombastic than the original.

  • WWO

    Hi Mr Whitacre,

    I'm from Warwick University in the UK and our wind orchestra recently played October (along with Stephenson's Rocket by Nigel Hess) at the National Concert Band Festival finals, held at the RSAMD in Glasgow. We gained a platinum award (to everyone's surprise – we were playing with an understrength band, we're unauditioned and some of our players had only played the pieces with us for the first time on the day of the finals). The adjudicators were giving their verdicts after the competition and one of their comments was that they had been really emotionally moved by the piece – we definitely wouldn't have done so well had we not had such a beautiful piece to play. In a way it helped that we were not at full strength as we could really make the most of the quieter passages. Everyone who took part loved October, hopefully it showed how much we liked the piece when we were playing it which helped us to achieve what we did.

    So thank you for writing such a great piece of music :) I know it'll be a very special piece for everyone who played it at those finals, I'll be sad when we go back after Easter and don't get to play it any more, it really is a truly beautiful piece of music.

  • Daryl Silberman

    Hi. We're sitting here in Chamber Orchestra perusing your website and listening to October. We'll be performing this on May 13, 2011 at Oregon Orchestra OSAA State Championships – one day before it's 11th anniversary.

    Thank you for your music!

    ~Daryl S.

  • Jonathan Arndt

    I couldn't help but notice how closely the beginning of this piece resembles parts of the soundtrack of the movie "Cinderella man," the movie about a boxer during the Great Depression. This makes me miss being in band, but im happy that i have a taste for good music unlike most of todays teenage society.

    P.S. i am one of Mr. Wrights students and look forward to singing with you in L.A. you are an inspiration that just because one doesn't know exactly how ones life will layout, you can still do something amazing that you never thought possible. God bless.

  • Molly

    I would just like to say that this is the piece that made me fall in love with music, and want to do something with it for the rest of my life. It is absolutely gorgeous, I see so many images in my mind when I play it.

    Thank you so much for creating this masterpiece. :)

  • Mary

    Will you ever arrange October to be sung by a choir without any instruments? It would be so amazing!!

  • Ben Murrie

    Brilliant. Just brilliant.

  • Brian Hickey

    Mr. Whitacre!

    I’d just like to say how much I enjoy your work. I am actually in the process of writing my Extended Essay on this piece, as well as one of Frank Ticheli’s works entitled ‘Shenandoah’. A
    As an aspiring musician, composer and conductor, you to me are one of my greatest inspirations and I greatly thank you.
    Best of luck with your new settlement in London.
    and my best regards,


  • David Brock

    A lot of the easiest music out there is some of this most beautiful. I’m not all into flashy music myself, and October is one of my all time favorites. I can never grow tired of your work, Sir.

  • Justin Raines

    I have always loved this piece, but find that this wind recording you have posted to be the best recording of the work out there so far. Which one of all the recordings do you like best? Is there one out there I have not found? There are some alterations in this version that is different in the available score. Why is that?

  • Celia

    I especially love the string orchestra on this piece. Mr. Whitacre, have you ever arranged this piece for orchestra? I recall your having mentioned on your blog that this particular recording is too fast. I would love to hear a string orchestra play it the way you would arrange and conduct it.

  • Lauren Collings

    i am in theYouth County Wind Band for Derbyshire, England on the Horn, i have just finished one of our music courses we have every so often. the band and i just played this piece, i love the serenity and the simplicity of the atmosphere created by the lush harmonies, in particular the horn section;)

  • Eric G

    Last year in my school’s wind ensemble we played this as one of our spring concert pieces. At first I thought we played it pretty well, but after hearing the UNT recording of this song I realized that we butchered it. When we played it in class I would often get goosebumps, but when I heard a professional recording I was moved to tears. I was ashamed of the lack of emotion put forth by the people in my band and I only wish we could have heard a good recording of the song so we could at least have started to emulate the deeply running emotion and passion that is present throughout this whole song.

    All of that aside, this is truly one of my favorite songs of all time. Mr. Whitacre, my hats off to you.

  • Dillon

    Mr. Whitacre

    I usually wouldn’t comment on web pages, but I just felt the need to say something.

    This piece takes me from my kitchen chair and makes me feel as though I’m soaring above a giant forest. It sparks my imagination! I can see everything there, the trees, the animals. It makes this more than a song. It’s an adventure!

    So, thank you so much for writing such a beautiful piece!

  • Matthew Alan Canales

    Was aquainted with this piece during my all-region practice in San Deago,Tx 2007. We practiced it numerous times in detail. Even after 2-3 hours of detailed repetition, October never got old. lol Unfortunately this piece was removed from the final cut list. Our directed wanted Texas/American themed music throughout our performance :-/ . maybe one day

  • Nathan Nelson

    Bravo Mr. Whitacre,

    Thank you for providing a piece that is both beautiful and lush and yet completely capable of being performed by high schoolers. Thank you for contributing a piece for our youth that has thought and emotion and soul.

  • Katrina Carpenter

    This is an amazing piece:)

  • Cheri

    Mr. Whitacre,
    I have wanted to have my band perform October but never really had the “right” band to pull it off. Now I am actually working on October with my chamber orchestra (scored by Paul Lavender). My students love it and are getting better at doing it justice every day. I only wish I could find a professional recording of an orchestra performing the piece. Any insight you can give in making the orchestral version as dynamic as the wind performance?

  • Mary Lindsey

    This is one amazing piece and I am honored to play the cello solo in the Paul Lavender arrangement.

  • Malik Walker

    I am currently a sophomore in high school; I am a member of the Central SugarBear Band, I play the Horn.. After hearing this piece, I have been inspired to take my musical abilities far beyond what was originally intended when I first started off learning the fundamentals. This piece just brings out the best in me. Being born in October, this is already a favorite of mine, but hearing what you have created made this piece an all-time great in My Book. This truly is a glorious piece. Thank You for creating a foundation to a great path.

  • Adam J.

    My high school Wind Ensemble played this piece last year for concert and our state competition. I played 3rd trumpet and this year I am playing 1st. I am sad to say that because of some drama with the judges, we didn’t move on. But this was the piece that every single person in the ensemble wanted to come in and play every morning. We couldn’t say that about any other piece we played. Every time I have heard or played this piece, I have gotten chills. The entire song is pure emotion. The notes by themselves don’t have any special meaning until you put pure, raw emotion behind them. That makes it an instant masterpiece.

    Being a guy that loves pep and jazz band (I listen to Maynard Ferguson), I don’t usually like playing concert pieces. But this piece of simple eloquence gave me a reason to enjoy concert band again, and for that, I thank you

  • Sally Clarke

    This is so beautiful. October is my birth month and this music is so appropriate. I simply love it.

  • Jules Sevenky

    Listening to October for the first time, right now. How have I never heard it before!? “Easy” or not, this music lives right where my heart does!

    There is no finer gift than music shared. Thank you, Eric, for continually enriching my life.

  • Elizabeth Johnstone

    Such a beautiful piece! We did this when I was in Wind Ensemble in college. It gave me goosebumps when I played it. I had a friend that came to the concert tell me later it moved her to tears. Thank you for writing a wonderful piece of music!

  • Karen Schneck

    Hey there! I just wanted to tell you that my high school orchestra just played this for our concert tonight! It was so much fun to learn and the emotions we could bring out of the music made this one of our favorite songs. Thank you so very much.
    Karen Schneck
    Lawrence Free State High School

  • Jason Seiberling

    …just listened this being played by the Moore County Community Concert Band at The Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst NC. BEAUTIFUL!!

  • Amber Emanuel

    I fell in love with this song a few years back, when I was trying my hand at the oboe. I found it on the internet listened to it over and over again, swooning over the expressions the song evokes. My tryst with the oboe failed (I’m a clarinet player at heart), but my love for this song stayed. It moves me more than words can explain. And now my appreciation for this song has grown immensely now that I found out that Nebraska high schools commissioned this piece! I have lived in Nebraska my whole life and to know that this song written by my favorite composer was for Nebraska high school band members like myself makes me extremely proud.

  • Kyle

    Hey Eric,

    Thank you for this incredible musical experience that has undoubtedly changed my life. I have an understanding of music that some say if far beyond my age, but does that really matter? I love writing music, just like you, and other people can come along for the ride if they want. But we all know that people love your music! :)

    And I am proud to say that this piece moves me to tears almost every time.

  • Jordan Roberts


    I had the opportunity to play this with you conducting when I was in high school (some sort of honors band at Western Michigan University). It was one of the most incredible musical experiences of my life. In fact, that was probably the exact moment I decided to make music my life’s profession, and I’ve been playing professionally for the U.S. Army Band for 7 years now. I really appreciate all of the amazing music you’ve created! If you ever decide to do anything for brass choir, I might actually spontaneously combust! Keep up the awesome work!

    Jordan Roberts
    Army Tubist

  • A. Wilde

    Mr. Whitacre-
    I just heard this beautiful piece at my niece’s high school band concert this week. Thier conductor said he tried to play it when he was in high school band and then again in collge, to no avail. He decided to try it with this symphonic band and it sounded wonderful- it brought me to tears. Autumn is my favorite time of year. You capture the beauty of that season in this piece. I love that it was born out of Chicago, as that is where I am from. The high school band program I heard was from Warren Township- in Gurnee, IL. They have the largest band in the state….and the kids in the program are extremely talented and bright musicians. They did your “October” proud.

  • Karim

    Im sorry you said this piece was composed in May 2000?

  • James Dundas

    Eric –

    if you’re not busy in early August, the Minnesota All-State Concert Band is playing this

  • Brian Baumgarn

    wow, so happy to read about the history of this piece of music. I have gone through all the tracks of October available on You Tube and the one of the Navy Band which is edited says it best for me. The director of the Navy band when they finish the piece in rehearsal is visibly moved by his own bands play. I can’t wait for the 1st of October this year as I am getting myself up in the morning with that selection on You Tube. I will probably be alone in my apartment when I listen to it, but I will also, be visibly moved. Thanks, so much Eric and all who have recorded this moving hymn of the season.

  • Brian Gruenewald


    I had no idea who you were or even existed until my sophomore year of high school. That was the year that our marching band performed a show with bits of your works in it, like Equus, this piece (October), one other piece that I can’t recall. In essence, it was an Eric Whitacre show. I knew the show was cool, and we placed finals at all of our competitions that year, but I didn’t really know what I was performing until I really listened to your works, the first of which was this piece. I ALWAYS get chills at the build-up to that final G major chord and as it plays out… it never ceases to amaze me. Simply beautiful, Eric!!!

  • Scott Israel

    My High School Wind Ensemble played this last year and again this year as our marching band show ballad. It is one of the best pieces of music I have ever heard. Thank you so much.

  • RMG

    I was just looking up this piece because my band director handed it out a few days ago, and I wanted to hear the original recording. I read the description, and I was stunned to see that my band director, who happens to be Brian Anderson, accomplished such a feat! I love the music and the background behind it. It is simply awe-inspiring and beautiful.

  • Caro

    This year for our Spring concert we played October and I’ve gotta say it’s one of my favorite pieces of my entire three years in a high school band. The year before we played Seal Lullaby and also I loved it. With October, my entire band loved playing it and when we competed with it, the judge said that we played it with such an intense emotion and clarity that he would’ve easily mistaken us for a higher level band