This arrangement is a setting of the new song Solid Rock, written by Katie Fuentes and published in Volume 1 of the Salvation Worship publication. While this band arrangement introduces a new song, there are many references to the traditional hymn Solid Rock (T.B. 446) which will bring familiarity to listeners as a central theme for the work. It is anticipated that this new arrangement will help introduce the song to congregations, particularly if effectively used with a multimedia display. Despite being written as a stand-alone presentation, this arrangement can also work as a congregational accompaniment if desired.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Sam Creamer has become an established arranger with works published in the Australian and International Salvation Army band journals. In addition, many of his works have been recorded by numerous staff, fellowship, and corps bands around the world. This is his third contribution to Maple Leaf Brass. Sam is involved in music ministry at a Salvation Army outpost recovery church called God’s Sports Arena in Brisbane, Australia. His musical skills are proficient as a drummer/percussionist with high qualifications on drum kit acknowledged by the Australian Music and Examinations Board. He also has sound knowledge and experience with brass, saxophone, and rhythm section instruments. In his spare time, Sam serves as the Musical Director for the Salvation Army based Revelation Big Band in Brisbane.
COMMENTS FROM THE COMPOSER
The original melody is quite syncopated, as per the style of many worship songs, so it is important that all sixteenth rhythms are divided evenly in a relaxed manner without being forced or rushed. As an aid to the syncopation, there is always a constant rhythmic pulse present – those playing quarter note figures should be aware that they are essentially the metronome for the band and those with the melodic syncopation should fit within this steady rhythmic feel. The basses and drum kit are responsible for setting the style which should also be played in a relaxed feel. The more relaxed the accompaniment parts, the easier it will be for those with the syncopated melodic figures. A good dynamic balance is needed between melody and accompaniment throughout the arrangement, particularly since this is a new song for many listeners. Dynamics should be treated sensitively to not reach the climax until section G. The build through section F will happen naturally as the scoring expands to full band, and the melody of “On Christ, the solid rock, I stand” is presented as a countermelody in the Soprano and 1st Cornet parts. The eighth rest on beat 2 of bar 62 (section G) is of utmost importance, adding dramatic effect to the climax that has been reached. A natural diminuendo will happen from bar 70 as the scoring is thinned gradually from full band to lower brass. The ending at section H should be treated with the same approach as the introduction but focus on transitioning the cascading figures between instrumental tonal colours with ease.