An American Folk Hymn Medley

This medley brings together three 19-century shape-note tunes in a contemporary setting for brass quintet.

“Holy Manna” is popularly known as “Brethren We Have Met to Worship” from its association with a text by Methodist clergyman George Atkins (1793-1827). It was first published in Columbian Harmony, a shape-note tune book, in 1829, and is attributed to William Moore, the publisher. “Restoration,” first published in William Walker’s 1835 shape-note hymnal, Southern Harmony, was later renamed “Arise” from its association with a text by Joseph Hart (1712-1768) in which the chorus begins “I will arise and go to Jesus….” “Pleading Savior,” published in Joshua Leavitt’s 1830 compilation The Christian Lyre, is today best-known in many churches as the accompaniment to the text “Sing of Mary, Pure and Lowly.”

In this arrangement, the similar tunes “Holy Manna” and “Pleading Savior,” both in pentatonic Ionian (major tonality) and 8.7.8.7 meter, frame the contrasting minor tonality tune, “Restoration.” A mix of both traditional and contemporary harmonies breathes a fresh spirit into these venerable tunes.

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99