Shout with Joy! (1998)
Ian & Isobel Robinson
Duration: approx. 2:30
A few months after I had written He is Exalted and whilst working at THQ one day, I was called upstairs to the Music Department. Captain Len Ballantine wanted to see me. He and Trevor Davis wanted me to arrange another of Ian & Isobel's wonderfully energetic songs Shout with Joy! - this time for the grand occasion of the UK Salvation Army's Gospel Arts concert (called the Music Leader's Councils Festival in those days). The music would be for the ISB to play, and a massed choir of 500 singers to sing to. What a privilege to be asked.
As this was a short notice request and songster brigades up and down the land had already been rehearsing it to piano backing, the arrangement needed to follow the song exactly in terms of the introduction, end, links, key signatures, etc. So, with the exception of an a la marcia feel in a section towards the end (my only liberty with the song), the arrangement is a straight transcription.
I can remember sitting up until all hours writing parts out and also around that time I had a demo version of some software I think was called Capella. (I still have a score and parts called .cap files on my PC). I must have put the arrangement in to that programme, too.
Anyhow one way or another I turned the arrangement round in a couple of days and with trembling hands passed it over to Bandmaster Stephen Cobb who rehearsed it with the ISB. A few weeks later the event came and the piece was played. That was the first time I had one of my pieces played at the Royal Albert Hall - I'll never forget it. Playing in the band at the time I didn't really appreciate the whole performance but it was thrilling nonetheless. By the way does anybody have a CD of that concert? Would love to hear from you if you do.
Regent Hall Band
from their album
Shout With Joy!.mp3
Actually that night in May 1998 was special for a number of reasons; I was playing in the ISB, Shout with Joy! was featured, I was part of Penge Songsters (choir) who had a solo spot at the RAH that night, and - best of all - I was introduced to a young lady called Leanne after the concert. The rest, as they say, is history.
A few months later Regent Hall Band were getting set for a recording and Bandmaster Steve Hanover asked if they could include this piece on their album which was eventually titled Luminescence (the naming of that CD is a whole other story I'll maybe share with you one day!). So I brushed up the piece a little and passed it over.
Incidentally I helped out RH Band by playing 1st Cornet on the recording - it was a fun couple of days and the band played very well. As I listen to the recording of Shout with Joy! now I realise we perhaps didn't quite nail the driving-four style of the song (it's possibly taken a little too quick so the players relax into a two-in-the-bar feel). Consequently the a la marcia section towards the end doesn't really come off either as half the band is still playing in the 'relaxed' style. Anyhow it's a competent performance from a band who were playing well then and still play well today.
Beyond 1998 the piece didn't really survive. At one time it was considered for publication by the UK SA, but was never selected. And by the way, if you're a writer you will realise sooner or later that when writing music and sending it in to for somebody else to review, your music will sometimes hit the spot and at other times it will not be what's required. It's part and parcel of the creative process.
In terms of usability I don't think the arrangement is quite as thrilling as He is Exalted but on the plus side it is slightly longer and certainly more accessible. I would think it is still quite programmable and so welcome enquiries if you think your band could use it.
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