"A SOUTHERN HYMN: FANFARE, THEME & VARIATIONS" was commissioned by the Asheville, North Carolina Community Band. The work is dedicated to Patricia L. Garren, the founding director, and the charter members of the band on the occasion of its Silver Anniversary. The work is based on the hymn tune How Firm A Foundation, credited to Joseph Funk in an 1832 publication titled "A Compilation of Genuine Church Music."
The piece opens with a sparkling fanfare followed by a brief presentation of several fragments of the tune leading to the introduction of the full hymn tune, first in woodwinds then by the full ensemble. A transition sets the stage for a light rhythmic variation followed by a short rhapsodic statement. A fast march-like motif evolves into a fragmented re-statement of the original tune leading to a rousing full ensemble shout which concludes the piece.
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