New Arrangement! Great Is Thy Faithfulness for Clarinet Choir
In August of last year, Dr. Cassandra Hibbard, professor of clarinet at Liberty University, asked me to write an arrangement of the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" for clarinet choir. This would add another hymn to the collection I have already arranged for her group. I hope to add more worship songs and hymns for years to come!
Anyway, I was hiking the Appalachian trail when I got the text from Dr. Hibbard. I immediately texted her back yes. I was excited!
At first, I did not know or have an idea how this hymn should be played by a group of clarinets. It seemed to me like a simple, three-chord worship song with not a lot of room for counterpoint and moving parts. Eventually after playing around with ideas, I decided to begin the piece with moving sixteenth notes before the main melody came in. I held out many of the phrases an extra measure throughout the piece to make it sound broader.
As with most hymns, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" repeats the same tune again three times, for each of the three verses. I decided I wanted to modulate to a different key for each time. I would also change the feel for each verse too. The first verse was in concert E flat, and moving smoothly and quickly with sixteenth notes. I decided to tone it down for the second verse. This verse moves up to concert F, and is played mezzo-piano and piano with sustained notes underneath and moving chords. I knew I wanted the piece to end in a grand finale, so I modulated the music up to concert G flat (don't worry, it's only A flat for clarinets!) and wrote the final section in a march style. To keep from becoming too repetitive, and in order for the piece not to get too long, I included only the chorus the third time around. I think the song was stated very well in what I wrote, and I am very satisfied with the finished product. I hope Dr. Hibbard likes it and that I can hear it performed in the near future!
You can listen to my new arrangement below.
Until next time...