Top conductors, composers and music reviewers talk about Pat's work

Through his innovating scoring techniques, imaginative use of the instruments, and masterful ear for color and texture, Merlin Patterson has created some of the greatest symphonic wind transcriptions in all of band literature. He is truly without peer as a band arranger.

Eddie Green

Conductor Emeritus, University of Houston Wind Ensemble

The wind transcriptions of Merlin Patterson represent the highest possible current degree of attention to color and imaginative detail. If you are considering performance of a selection from his catalogue, I am certain that you will be thrilled with the treatment and attention to detail that he has lavished on the work!

Jerry Junkin

Artistic Director, Dallas Winds, Director of Bands & Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor of Music, University of Texas at Austin

Merlin Patterson is undoubtedly one of the finest transcribers of all time. His transcriptions are thoroughly faithful to the composer’s original intent, and meticulously edited. Additionally, his gifted scoring is attentive to transparency and fully employs the wide spectrum of color possibilities of the wind band.

James Keene

Director of Bands and Professor of Music, University of Illinois

More Reviews

[Merlin Patterson is] a brilliant, gifted arranger. 

— Jerry Junkin, Artistic Director of the Dallas Wind Symphony, Director of Bands and the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor of Music, University of Texas at Austin

This magnificent recording contains three masterful transcriptions by Merlin Patterson.  Merlin’s magic begins with the complete Enigma Variations (Elgar) followed by The Engulfed Cathedral (Debussy).  A beautifully scored setting of the complete Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 (Villa-Lobos) brings the disc to a close.  The artistry of Eddie Green and the University of Houston Wind Ensemble play this music with solid professionalism.

— Ira Novoselsky, Band World Magazine

…it must be said that the work of the transcriber Merlin Patterson on this Mark CD (of The Planets and Appalachian Spring) is enormously impressive.

— Andrew Quint, Fanfare Magazine

Brilliant!  I had no idea that a band transcription could turn out so well.

— Michael Torke, Composer of “Javelin”

Patterson does with Debussy’s The Engulfed Cathedral what Ravel did with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition… Debussy’s piano piece is magical, and so is Patterson’s setting for band.

— Barry Kilpatrick, The American Record Guide   

One of the best things the University of Houston Wind Ensemble has going for it is a relationship with arranger Merlin Patterson, who has shown great skill in setting all manner of original material for band.”

— Barry Kilpatrick, The American Record Guide

Merlin Patterson has demonstrated that transcribing an orchestral work for wind ensemble can be more than merely utilitarian. Like Ravel’s treatment of Mussorgsky, Patterson’s efforts often result in works of art that shed new light on the original.

— Walter Simmons, producer, musicologist, “Fanfare” magazine music critic

This is the first of the MusiClips “Old Comrades”: an extraordinary pair of masterful band orchestrations by Merlin Patterson. The Planets is performed with all the spectacle one expects from Holst’s seven movement megawork, including the wordless women’s chorus. Copland’s Appalachian Spring offers the perfect contrast to The Planets with its rural portrait of Americana. It is interesting to know this recording was a Grammy entry nomination in 1998 for best classical recording, best classical performance & best artwork. The Planets/Appalachian Spring is an incredible recording combining exquisite band orchestrations with unmatched performances by Eddie Green and the University of Houston Wind Ensemble. A definite for your audio library.

— Ira Novoselsky, Bandworld