“An American Folk Hymn Medley” brings together three 19th-century shape-note tunes in a contemporary setting for brass quintet.
HOLY MANNA is popularly known as “Brethren We Have Met to Worship” from its association with a text by Methodist clergyman George Atkins (1793-1827). It was first published in Columbian Harmony, a shape-note tune book, in 1829, and is attributed to William Moore, the publisher. RESTORATION, first published in William Walker’s 1835 shape-note hymnal, Southern Harmony, was later renamed ARISE from its association with a text by Joseph Hart (1712-1768) in which the chorus begins “I will arise and go to Jesus….” PLEADING SAVIOR was published in Joshua Leavitt’s 1830 compilation, The Christian Lyre.
In this arrangement, the similar tunes HOLY MANNA and PLEADING SAVIOR, both in major tonality and 126.96.36.199 poetic meter, frame the contrasting minor tonality tune, RESTORATION. A mix of both traditional and contemporary harmonies breathes a fresh spirit into these venerable tunes.