#PsalmQuest 21 – Celebration (based on Psalm 100)

"Celebration" for orchestra by Stephen P BrownNext month is the first Festival of Psalms.

There are several concerts with several of my new pieces being performed.

But there was something missing in one of them…

A rousing finish.

A bang!

An uplifting ‘thank you for coming’ kind of piece to let the audience know the Festival of Psalms event was over.

So what did I do? I wrote one!

The chamber music ensemble engaged for one of the concerts consists of bass clarinet, bassoon, harp and strings. Don’t know about you, but there are not that many compositions out there for that combination of instruments, let alone one somehow inspired by a psalm or two.

I knew the character of the piece and cheated a little: next on my list was #129 and it could have sorta worked, but I actually swapped it out with a later one, Psalm 100. This is clearly all about celebrating, and I’m pleased my need for an upbeat number complimented this psalm.

So here we have it!

A celebratory, upbeat piece that will be premiered at the Festival Founder’s Concert on May 25.

But wait… that’s not the end of the psalm story.

As the piece grew into being I started really liking it. I mean, REALLY liking it! Not sure why – it doesn’t seem particularly special and it’s not even three minutes long, but I simply couldn’t stop playing it.

And then I imagined a flute here, and a tuba there. What about a triangle? So, now I’m thinking woodwinds, some brass, percussion, harp and strings. Oh why not go for it: make an arrangement for full orchestra.

So I did.

Finally, the composition that it ended up being is the first Psalm Quest composition for full orchestra. The woodwinds are all doubled up, but that’s OK as it adds depth to the piece. And there’s an optional marimba part as well because there are more and more marimba players out there but not orchestral repertoire (marimba players are not strange animals, they are just like every other instrumentalist! Kind of.)

Here we go. Enjoy. Please add a comment below and tell me if you like the piece, if you play an instrument, which one, and whether or not you’d like to play this composition!

(Please note: it begins with a loud crash!)

(And here’s a static video, in case you prefer that!)

Click here to get a full score and the set of parts

Isn’t it a fun little ditty? There aren’t too many psalms that encourage this type of “serious” fun, but tell me – how many times have you listened to it already?!

Click here to see a list of the festival events

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Diane

    It’s very fun, and quite rousing! I play a flute. I’d like to hear the piece by a full orchestra!

    • http://www.stephenpbrown.com/ Stephen P Brown

      Oh, glad you think so, Diane! Thx. A full orchestra playing it would certainly be cool – let’s hope we find one willing to try it (and record it)…