No. 336 MARCH – LIFE SONGS
STEPHEN BULLA (ASCAP)
Program Note (Notes by Jamie Hood)
The march – Life Songs – was commissioned by The Cascade Divisional Music and Arts Director, Jamie Hood to be played by the Cascade Divisional Band at the retirement of Lt Col. Judy Smith. The march contains two of Lt. Col Smith’s favorite Salvation Army choruses, Life Is A Song and God Is Still On The Throne.
Note to the Conductor (Notes by Jamie Hood)
It is important to find a good balance throughout the band in order to bring out the various colors. At b.5 you will want to make sure the horns and baritones are balanced and heard without straining their sound. At b.13 and throughout the march, make sure the dynamics are respected and there is a lightness to the playing. At b.22 the baritones and euphonium introduce the first song, Life Is A Song and it is later taken up by the 1st cornets at b.30. Be mindful at b.30 to make sure the melody is heard. The transition between b.39 and b.45 is straight forward and sets up the trombones and baritones for, God Is Still On The Throne at b.45.
In this setting, Stephen Bulla uses triplet quarter notes. Be sure to keep these moving in tempo and also keep the eighth notes nice and steady. At b.53 there is a key change and a reprise of the chorus in the 1st cornet and euphonium bringing us to an energetic and bright finish.
No. 337 CORNET SOLO – JUST WHERE I AM
EDGAR GRINSTED, ARR. THOMAS SCHEIBNER
This cornet solo was arranged for Retired Staff Bandmaster Derek Smith to present at the New York Staff Band’s 110th Annual Festival in 1997. Derek’s beautiful lyric playing was captured on video and has been played back on YouTube over the past 20 years. The words of the song’s chorus are particularly significant:
Just where He needs me, my Lord has placed me,
Just where He needs me, there would I be!
And since He found me, by love He’s bound me
To serve Him joyfully.
Note to the Conductor
The conductor and soloist would benefit from reviewing the words to this song from The Salvation Army Song Book. The soloist should always phrase the music with the words in mind. The music is uncomplicated and the conductor should be sure that the soloist part predominates over the band. The euphonium part matching the soloist line at b. 41 should add just a bit of support in the background.
No. 338 SPIRIT SONG
JOHN WIMBER, ARR. CHELSEA PASCOE
This piece is an arrangement of John Wimber’s Spirit Song, originally written for The Salvation Army West End Community Church Band in Bermuda. This ‘easy listening’ arrangement is lyrical in style, but also has an expressive intensity that matches the personal nature of the words associated with the tune.
Ideally any group playing the piece should be familiar with the lyrics and the introductory lines in particular:
Oh, let the Son of God enfold you
With His Spirit and His love;
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
Oh let Him have the things that hold you,
And His Spirit, like a dove,
Will descend upon your life and make you whole.
Note to the Conductor
It is important to allow enough freedom for the musicians to express the message of this piece, given its personal nature. However, this should be balanced with the need to maintain the style and shape of the music throughout. It would be advantageous to play a vocal version of the song to the group in rehearsal. This will enhance the group’s understanding of the material and ultimately enhance the overall performance.
No. 339 PHILIPPIANS 4:6
BOBBY MCFERRIN, ARR. DOROTHY GATES (ASCAP)
Philippians 4:6 was written for the New York Staff Band’s trip to Jamaica in 2012. It is a fun marriage of two songs, the Sunday school chorus If You’re Happy and You Know It with Jamaica’s own Bobby McFerrin’s, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. The title, Philippians 4:6 encapsulates the thought behind the arrangement:
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns (The Message).
Note to the Conductor
Balance and style are the main concerns in performing this piece. Make sure the balance is light so that the soloists shine. With regards to style, keep the Reggae feel as relaxed as you dare. Playing Bobby McFerrin’s original song in rehearsal will set up the style perfectly – and add some fun to the rehearsal in the process. Have fun with this piece.
Although nine instrumentalists may adequately present music in the American Band Journal, the scoring is designed to work equally well or better with a full compliment. For nine brass instrumentalists, two cornetists should be assigned to the 1st cornet part because of the frequent use of divisi, with one 2nd cornet, two horns, two trombones, one euphonium and one tuba completing the minimum group.
Optional parts (for soprano cornet, flugel horn, baritone, bass trombone and percussion) are all included. The music is complete without these parts but their use will greatly enhance the performance, as long as the fundamental parts are covered. A free set of transposed parts in F and C (treble/bass clef) is available on request.