Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"Hymn For 9/11"
Written and Arranged By: Rick Lawn
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade 3 Ballad (Quarter Note) q = 66 $42.00
The chorale that serves as the basis for this unusual big band chart is a variation on the first movement of a trombone choir suite, begun only 24 hours before 9/11. The composer explains in the accompanied liner notes, “At that time, the somber mood and optimistic resilience that followed this horrific occasion was inescapable and served to influence each note.”
The unresolved cadences, especially at measure 17 and measure 74 a major third and a suspended fourth, are found and help to communicate a sense of guarded optimism amidst the overall somber and pensive mood. The notes that create these tensions are correct and should be played with conviction.
The composer suggests, “The piece should be played in a very connected, legato style and without vibrato.” Careful attention must be paid to balance, blend, intonation and exaggerated dynamics. The soft passages cannot be played too softly.
Flugelhorns are preferable, however, trumpets with bucket mutes or hats can be suitable substitutions. The piano soloist should focus on playing beautiful right-hand lines and simple three or four note left-hand voicings.
The piece is not one that looks to be a challenge for most high school and college bands, but be aware that if played to it’s full potential “Hymn For 9/11” will take a very good ensemble willing to put in the time it will take to make this statement complete.
Top note for trumpet is written A above the staff