Shabat Shalom




Instrumentation: standard Brass Band

This is an arrangement of a traditional Jewish song which is a round or canon. I first heard it while teaching in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and taking the co-lead in a concert for all schools in the city, held in the City Hall. As well as two songs composed especially for the occasion, this was one of the songs performed, sung as a round by some 2,500 schoolchildren: an incredible experience for all!

I was so taken with the simplicity of the melody that I promptly arranged it for my school’s Wind Band and it became a real favourite. I decided to re-arrange this for Brass Band and it was taken up by a couple of bands in the area and became a regular concert item of Billingham Silver Band. They even included it on their first CD.

The arrangement starts very quietly and gradually builds up through a combination of an increase in players and the addition of countermelodies. It lasts about 4 minutes and is technically easy but needs real care and attention to dynamics, shading, phrasing and breath control.