For Symphonic Winds
- Three Spiritual Songs
- Peace, Perfect Peace by George T. Caldbeck (1852-1918)
- Nearer, Still Nearer by Leila Naylor Morris (1862-1929)
- Fairest Lord Jesus – 17th Century German Air
- Now The Day Is Over by Joseph Barnby (1838-1896)
- Dear Lord and Father of Mankind by Frederick C. Maker (1844-1927)
- Three Easter Hymns
- ‘Tis Midnight, and on Olive’s Brow by William Bradbury (1816-1868)
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Lowell Mason (1792-1872)
- Christ, We Do All Adore Thee by Théodore Dubois (1837-1924)
- For The Beauty of The Earth by Conrad Kocher (1786-1872)
Arranged by William V. Johnson (2015)
Growing up in the South Eastern part of the United States, Church attendance was a big part of my childhood. As I got older, I discovered the enormous beauty of the hymns that were being sung in the worship services and they became part of my musical foundation. Fortunately, prior to going to college, I had the opportunity to serve as the music director for a large church in Tennessee.
As a wind band conductor, I am always searching for good warm-up chorales to be used at the beginning of rehearsals, mostly Bach chorales and other warm-up material by various composers and arrangers. As we all know, using a work that you intend to rehearse as a warm-up piece is rarely successful. The ensemble needs to have something that is easy to play, giving them the opportunity to listen and to establish good ensemble sonority, without dealing with extreme ranges and rhythmic complexity. The warm-up chorale also allows the players to make adjustments in tuning, balance and blend thus preparing them for meaningful rehearsal. Having a collection of good warm-up material is important and will set the tone for the entire rehearsal.
Most of the chorales in this collection are hymns that were written in the 1800s and are contained in almost all of today’s Church hymnals. These are also hymn tunes from my childhood. I have found that these classic songs, when arranged for wind band, make wonderful warm-up chorales.
Wind band arrangements for some of The Warm-up Chorales have not yet been recorded. Where indicated, the sound files were computer generated by Sibelius music notation software.