In Christ Alone (2004)
Keith Getty/Stuart Townend

General Series 2039 (publ. 2006)
Duration: approx. 4:30

I doubt I'm the first composer/arranger/musician/person who's been moved by this song which in recent years has very much become an anthem of the church.

By 2004 the song had been in regular use in Salvation Army meetings for a couple of years, so, surprised that nobody had written an arrangement for the Army's band journals, I  decided to step up to the task.  To date I think it has been one of my more popular pieces.

This arrangement is for a competent full-size brass band. There is potential for bands to be creative with the music, e.g. be inspired by the USA Central TMI musicians in the YouTube video here.

In the spirit of what seemed like every other piece that was being published in the journals at that time, this piece contains an instruction for the percussionist to roll an upside down cymbal on a timpani skin while adjusting the pedal.  I believe it was Peter Graham who first utilised this in a brass band score, having got the idea from Evelyn Glennie.  They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this effect was used so much at that time it became a standing joke among some composers over here in the UK.  Thank goodness we have all moved away from it now!

Computer generated track

WAV In Christ Alone.mp3

Sample score page
(right-click to download or 
open in a new window)

In Christ Alone p1.pdf In Christ Alone p1.pdf
Size : 81.072 Kb
Type : pdf

Like the song itself, this arrangement draws inspiration from the Celtic realm (pentatonic scale and all that) plus you might hear tribal/ethnic-inspired motifs from music such as Adiemus by Karl Jenkins, but it is essentially a setting of the four verses which say:

1. In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

2.In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live 

3. There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

4. No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Keith Getty/Stuart Townend
© 2001 Thankyou music 

I often get asked why this arrangement has the same ending as an earlier version of Let Everything Praise. Here's the deal:

When LEP was written in 2003 the UK music department didn't consider it suitable for publication at that time.  I held on to the piece and when writing In Christ Alone a year later, I was stuck for a good ending.  So, knowing that LEP had to be laid to rest, I lifted the ending of LEP and bolted on the end of In Christ Alone.  I then submitted it for publication.

In 2005 the Melbourne Staff Band got in contact with me, asking if I had anything that might be of use to them.  Not having heard whether In Christ Alone was to be published either, I sent them LEP and they recorded it and used it as the title track on their album in 2006.

After that, I was approached by the UK Music Department who, having had a change of heart, now wanted to publish LEP after all! So it needed a new ending, and the 2008 published piece has the revised ending.

I have had bands ask me for the original ending and I am happy to provide this free of charge as long as the piece has been purchased from SP&S Ltd.

Hope all that makes sense.  As they say at the end of Crimewatch, 'don't have nightmares, do sleep well.'

------------------------------------------------- Other recordings ------------------------------------------------- 

The Lake Effect (2006)

In Christ Alone (2007)
Coventry City Band

Sounds of the Seasons 2008 (2008)
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