One might well expect an arrangement of William Bradbury's hymn tune BRADBURY, commonly set to the words "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us," to be as smooth as butterscotch topping. Perhaps that is why Dan Pinkston's arrangement for woodwind quartet is so much fun.
Set for flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, this piece is a study in varied rhythms and contrast between staccato and slurred figures. One can almost imagine sheep heading across a hillside, each in its own direction, as the individual woodwind parts accelerate ahead and then pause phrase by phrase.
High school players will find this piece a challenge, as much of the intricate rhythm counting occurs during rests, and there are many places where an unwary player who misses a time signature change will find him- or herself with an unintentional solo. Almost all college players will easily handle this piece.
This piece is fun to play, and a refreshing change of pace that is idiomatically very modern and quite different from your average woodwind quartet fare. In short, it is offered here because we find it quite musical and interesting, and it is likely that you will too.
Dan Pinkston teaches composition at Simpson College in Redding, California, and plays both clarinet and guitar.
SAVIOR, LIKE A SHEPHERD LEAD US for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon), arranged by Dan Pinkston, comes in a PDF file of 1736K that contains a seven page score, four parts of two pages each, and a license page, sixteen pages in all. Performance time should be around 2:30.