Daughtrey's lovely arrangements in this collection help to fill the void of hymns available for solo marimba. All are playable on a low A marimba, but optional lower notes are provided throughout if you have an extended range instrument.
This is the second volume in the Sacred Marimbist collection – the first arranged by David Gillingham and this collection arranged by Nathan Daughtrey. All arrangements in this book are playable on a 4.3-octave (low A) marimba. Optional lower notes are indicated in parentheses throughout. Tenuto marks (-) appear in every hymn, which indicate notes that should be brought out of the texture, such as melodic lines or points of harmonic interest. Additionally, nearly every arrangement features a flexible duration, giving the performer the option to shorten or lengthen the piece as the performance venue may require. Enjoy!
Prelude on 'All Creatures of Our God & King'(Lasst Uns Erfreuen) Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote perhaps the most famous setting of this hymn. I, personally, grew up with this hymn as our doxology in church. Great care has been taken with the beaming to indicate which hands/mallets should be playing which notes. Pay close attention to the tenuto (-) marks above and below the pitches, indicating the melody and harmony lines to receive more emphasis. Appropriate during any part of the liturgical calendar.
Reflection on 'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence' (Traditional French)
This hymn, also known as ‘Picardy,’ is most appropriate during Advent. Be mindful of the fading echo effect throughout the first two pages of the arrangement. Note that only the left-hand accompaniment fades, while the right-hand melody remains constant.
Offertory on 'Amazing Grace' (Traditional)
Probably the most recognizable hymn in the collection, ‘Amazing Grace’ appears here in a more popular style with a great deal of syncopation and less traditional harmonies. This arrangement is perfect at any time of the year and during any part of the service.
Meditation on 'What Wondrous Love Is This' (William Walker)
This lovely hymn from ‘Southern Harmony’ has a feeling of Americana to it. This lush & solemn setting should be performed with a lot of give & take in tempo and dynamics. The melody throughout the chorale section should be played by the two inside mallets while the outer harmonies are played by the outside mallets. The 12/8 section should be performed smoothly and connected so that it retains the sound of rolling.
Postlude on 'Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee' (L.V. Beethoven)
Also known as ‘Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, this tune is appropriate during any point in the liturgical year. I recommend that you play this arrangement as the postlude, as the dance-like 7/8 might not lend itself to quiet meditation during other parts of the service. An ossia has been provided on the last page of the book for one particularly tricky section.
Prelude on 'For the Beauty of the Earth' (Conrad Kocher)
This hymn tune known as ‘Dix’ should be performed rather quietly and with a bit of a lilt in both of the contrasting sections. I would recommend soft and heavier mallets in the left hand so the bass notes may be emphasized throughout the first section and from m. 25 to 46.
Theme & Variations on ‘Fillmore’ (Jeremiah Ingalls)
Used as the melody for several different hymns, it is presented here in a straightforward four-part chorale setting for the theme. The variations don’t stray too far from the original theme, but great care should be taken to always bring out the theme. You should also choose mallets wisely, as you are required to perform both quick rhythmic figures in several ranges of the instrument as well as perform a soft, rolled chorale.
Fantasy on 'This Is My Father’s World' (Traditional English)
This setting of the melody ‘Terra Beata’ presents some technical challenges involving mallet placement on the bars. Don’t be afraid to use a more rubato tempo to help some of the awkward arm position shifts, but do not sacrifice the musical integrity of the arrangement. The sticking figuration in the second presentation of the hymn (m. 44) remains constant until the end of the piece. You might do well to incorporate this figuration (4-3-1-2-3-4-1-2) into your daily warm-up so that you may manipulate every musical nuance available to you.