Invictus - The Unconquered

Invictus was commissioned by and for the United States Army Ground Forces Band, Major Otis C. French, Commander and Conductor, and is dedicated to the Soldiers of the Army’s Forces Command, General John W. Hendrix, Commanding General.

It was first performed on 13th June 2001 as part of the US Army’s annual birthday celebrations.

Specifically, the piece is dedicated to various units of Forces Command, including the Active Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Combat Forces, Combat Support Forces, Combat Service Support Forces and the Civilian Forces.

Invictus opens with a robust theme from the brass against a strongly chordal accompaniment. The mood subsides with a gentle flute solo leading into the major part of the work, a sinister march in modal style. A bridge passage with bubbling 16th notes in the low clarinets leads to a second main subject, a passionate and turbulent theme over more continuous 16th notes. An attempt to re-introduce the march theme is brutally interrupted and a slow, central section is introduced. This opens with a reflective theme, which includes a clarinet solo and builds to an emotional climax for the whole band. This subsides and the original tempo reasserts itself with an exciting build to a reintroduction of the march theme, but this time the second subject returns triumphantly in the major key and leads to an emphatic and victorious close.