Oh, Shenandoah is a short (approximately 1:20) arrangement of the traditional American folk song arranged for trombone (or low brass) quartet with a bass line playable by either bass trombone or tuba. This work is one of what is intended to be a series of short form arrangements, “miniatures,” of American sacred and folk tunes. “Oh, Shenandoah” is well suited for academic, community, or church ensembles. The music is readily playable by intermediate or higher level musicians and is intended to be enjoyed by a broad audience.
For Trombone/Low Brass Quartet
In 1861, the sight of Northern troops assembling in Washington, D.C. inspired Julia Ward Howe to pen the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which begins, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Although originally intended to stimulate patriotic fervor, the text’s potent depiction of biblical themes – God’s certain and final defeat of evil, the looming eternal judgment of all souls, Christ’s atonement on our behalf, and a clear call to sacrificial evangelism – the work became prominent in many American hymnals. As summer approaches with the major American holidays of Memorial and Independence Days you may be seeking appropriate music to use in recognition of God’s providence and sovereignty. Here is one option for you, my arrangement of Ward’s hymn titled Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, set for trombone/low brass quartet. It’s a short piece, suitable for prelude, offertory, postlude, or other moments in your service, or would make a marvelous addition to a patriotic service or a summer bandstand concert. It is accessible and enjoyable for intermediate and higher level musicians. With rich harmonies and shifting colors, a twist on the traditional meter, and variations in tempo, it is a delight to the ears that underscores the implications of the unvoiced lyrics.