This arrangement features the well-known carol See, Amid the Winter’s Snow (T.B. 259). This carol is also known as The Hymn for Christmas, written by Edward Caswell, and first published in 1858. In 1871, John Goss wrote the tune Humility specifically for the carol. This is the tune we associate with these words:
See, amid the winter’s snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See the Lamb of God appears
Promised from eternal years.
Hail, thou ever blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem:
Christ is born in Bethlehem.
The opening section separates the tune into fragments and begins with introducing the various motifs used throughout the piece. A gradual build finally introduces the complete tune at section B, quickly rising to a triumphant proclamation section. Section D should reintroduce the feeling of the opening section so that a build can begin again to the presentation of the full tune. After the final triumphant chorus at section G, the final section should be calm and peaceful.
With the occasional use of triplets and marcato style eighth notes, it is important for the conductor to ensure that all players adhere strictly to the beat to keep this together. A calm and unhurried but precise approach should be used to guide the band into the eventual introduction of the full tune. When these transitions happen, the conductor should make the tempo changes clear but encourage a flowing, continuous style. A tempered mix of legato and a separated but not quite marcato style of playing is preferred to achieve the desired effect.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
John van Gulik is a soldier at Ottawa Citadel where he is involved in various aspects of music ministry such as band and songsters. His musical experience began at a young age while playing baritone, euphonium, trombone, bass trombone, and percussion in various Salvation Army bands. His most memorable band experience was Ottawa Citadel’s tour of the Netherlands in 1992.
John began composing music in 2008 and has since written over 300 pieces of music for many different types of groups including brass band, trombone quartets, and brass quintets. He has also written for mixed and male choirs. John’s music has been