Angels we have heard on high

Yes, I wrote an arrangement on this song for wind ensemble last year. But it’s a popular Christmas song, and our choir director requested it. So a new arrangement is in the works. I’m writing for flute, clarinet, alto sax, violin, viola, piano, and SATB choir. I like simple, especially for a worship service. I think this will still classify as simple, despite the complication of so many additional instruments.

I’m finding that the deep chalumeau register of the clarinet works very well for doubling the bass voice at times. My software reminds me that the alto sax has a slightly smaller register, and I can’t give it the bass line sometimes. Well, given its name, maybe that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

I used to not like to write for piano. But it is such a ubiquitous instrument, and I’ve therefore included it in my last song (Thou shalt call and the LORD shall answer). It wasn’t just playing the voice parts, and because of that, it was more fun. So as I’m writing the piano part for this arrangement, I’m having more fun with the piano.

When I was in high school, I had a wonderful friend who played the flute. I wrote for my friends, and therefore, some of my early arrangements and compositions also include flute. These days, as a violist in orchestra, I often sit fairly close to the flutes, and I get to hear that glorious sound close by. I’m trying to keep it within not too difficult, and hopefully the flutist will agree when I show it to her.

Key changes. So much more fun when there is some change. I have sometimes written key changes very abruptly, so that the singers will have to create the key change with just them. I’m deciding for the second key change to let the violin and viola handle the transition, and I hope it will be helpful to the singers. I might still let the piano assist with it.

I’m not finishing the arrangement today. I have another concert to play tonight. Woohoo! Timpanogos symphony orchestra together with the Wasatch Chorale, “Halloween at Hogwarts,” second iteration (we played last night too).

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