A Parting Blessing by Jerome Williams. Arranged by D. Gillingham. For Choir with Concert Band (SATB Choir, Piccolo/Flute 1/2, Oboe 1/2, Bassoon 1/2, Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2/3, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone 1/2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2/3, Horn 1/2, Horn 3/4, Trombone 1/2, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani, Perc). Grade 3. Score and parts. Duration 3:55. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.05990).
Based on a tune by Jerome Williams. A Parting Blessing is a heart-wrenching piece with chorus and band. Ideal as a collaborative effort with your chorus. Beautiful melody and excellent scoring. An excellent piece to pay tribute or as a centerpiece to a concert.
The 2002 Apple Valley High School Wind Ensemble in Apple Valley, MN, commissioned A Parting Blessing for their director, Scott A. Jones, who would be taking a sabbatical to complete his doctorate. Based on an old Irish blessing, A Parting Blessing begins with a sort of chiming of bells between the vibraphone and orchestra bells over rolls by the marimba. Above this underlying ostinato, the flute plays a descending "Irish-like" motive followed by a fragment of the Irish Blessing tune and culminating with a quote of the "Irish Washer Woman" by the piccolo. The purpose of all of this is to set the mood of the piece. The band (or chorus) then sings, in unison/octaves, the Irish Blessing. The accompaniment continues in compound meter from the beginning, but the vocal part is set in duple. Following the chordal section, the full band plays the tune with the brass playing the melody. The section increases in volume and reaches a pinnacle on the penultimate phrase of the blessing. After a grand pause, the band quietly sings the last phrase, "May God hold you in the palm of His Hand," and the work ends as quietly as it began. - D.R.G.