Click to enlargeHe Leadeth Me (trombone quartet)

This hymn tune feels like a comfortable old jacket. Even when hearing it for the first time, it seems familiar.

This arrangement is for three tenors and one bass trombone.

In the first stanza, the bass trombone plays the lead with a set of unusual moving harmonies above it, then the first takes the lead for the refrain.

The second trombone takes the lead for the second stanza, still with flowing harmonies but now more conventional.

An immediate segue brings the first trombone into the lead again in a closely related minor key. This stanza is low, and the harmonies are very close.

The refrain is then played up-tempo and very conventionally with the first in the lead. Finally, the refrain is repeated, more majestically, with the second in the lead.

The overall concept is very strongly related to Joseph Gilmore's lyrics:

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He leadeth me, O blessed thought,
O words with heavenly comfort wrought,
What e're I do, where e're I be,
Still, 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me.
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand he leadeth me.

Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine,
Content, whatever lot I see,
Still 'tis Thy hand that leadeth me.

And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Thy grace, the victory won,
E'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me.
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand he leadeth me.

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MP3 sound sample: entire piece (synthesizer/midi).



HE LEADETH ME, by William Bradbury, arranged by Tom Kirkland for trombone quartet (three tenors and a bass), comes in a pdf file of 1692, with a four-page score, four two-page parts, and a license page, thirteen pages in all. Performance time is approximately 3:10.


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Last update: 5 June 2017