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Topic: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

  1. #1

    A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Three years ago I was asked to put together a medley of hymns for the pastor of our church who was retiring. I scored the medley featuring a small orchestra and large choir. As is always the case when I do one of these pieces, I don't always know who I'm going to have in the orchestra until the last minute (literally!), so I have to be as flexible with the parts as possible. The piece went over extremely well, better than I could have hoped for. However, I never really got to hear it with all the instruments which I had originally written for the medley until Aria. Now I've finally been able to hear this piece the way I had wanted to hear it.

    Just a few things about this piece. It is long (15 minutes) and the file is big (21 MB). I've listed the names of the hymns used below. I want to point out the music of All Creatures was the pastors' favorite hymn, so besides using it at the beginning, I also used little snippets of the hymn throughout the medley. You will also hear toward the end parts of We Are Called mixed in with the Reprise. Lastly, there are no vocals (at least not until the Garritan Vocal Library débuts), but the melodies do come out in the other instruments and in the piano.

    I hope you all enjoy this piece. I love doing arrangements and I especially loved doing this medley.

    Gary A.


    All Creatures of Our God and King
    When Morning Gilds the Skies
    All Praise to Thee
    Rejoice the Lord is King
    We Are Called
    All Creatures Reprise

    Libraries used: GPO4, Steinway Basic
    Audio recording through Finale 2009
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  2. #2

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)


    Very beautiful arrangements and renditions of therese hymns.
    A great example of the GPO4. Can only imagine a live choir!

    Very well done.

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  3. #3

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Beautiful Gary. A perfect listen on this Sunday morning.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician


  4. #4

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Really excellent work, Gary. Reading your post made me so happy for you that you can finally be hearing the full arrangement more as you intended - It's a beautiful story you've told in your post, and the beauty of the music transcends it as only well done music can do.

    Thank you.


  5. #5

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Great stuff Gary, an absolute treat!

    There are few sources of better melodies than those collected together in the various hymnals. When combined with such superb, lush arrangements as you've put together here, the effect is just breathtaking.

    My favourite is 'All Creatures of Our God and King' closely followed by 'All Praise to Thee'. This side of the pond, the latter is more commonly known as 'For all the Saints', but either way, the composer R Vaughan Williams would surely have approved of your arrangement.

    The orchestration is so rich and well crafted, I think this stands equally well without a choir. I think a choir could possibly turn this into something either too 'epic' or too sentimental. For the occasion you describe, it would have needed a choir and I'm sure that was an important part of the 'delivery' - I would love to have heard how this turned out.

    GPO /Aria is sounding great in this.



  6. #6

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments!

    To Michael: I'm so glad you enjoyed it. The live presentation was pretty awesome with the live choir. Thanks for your comments!

    To Hippie!: Glad to hear I made your Sunday morning! I would have loved to have had you playing with the group!

    To Randy: I'm always glad to hear from you and I so appreciate your great comments! There wasn't a dry eye in the place when the piece was finished!

    To Graham: Thank you so much for your fine comments! I agree, there is such a wealth of melodies that come from a hymnal. I always have loved All Creatures and it was so enjoyable to work an arrangement around that piece. And you know, I love the arrangement without the vocals probably just as much. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I hope to hear it performed again someday!

    To all who have listened to this piece, thank you for taking the time to listen! Doing arranging like this is such a joy. I wish I could do it all the time.

    Gary A.
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  7. #7

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Hello Gary,

    Beautiful use of the GPO library and wonderful listening. A lovely homage to God.

    Best wishes,


  8. #8

    Re: A Celebration of Hymns (with Aria)

    Beautiful and inspiring work, Gary; and including
    one of my most cherished hymns ("All Creatures").

    A wonderful addition to my evening of listening!

    My best,

    David Sosnowski

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