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Amazing Grace (Newton - ensemble version)

arranged for percussion ensemble
Level: Medium
Duration: 4:45
Personnel: 5 players
Release Date: 2019
Product ID : TSPCE19-033
Price: $36.00
Item #: TSPCE19-033

Formats Available:


Description

Amazing Grace is a timeless melody that has been arranged for almost every combination of instruments and voices imaginable. Tyler Tolles brings an Afro-Cuban influenced arrangement to the world of percussion for mallet percussion and an accompanying ride cymbal part. The piece is designed with the high school or early college group in mind.

The harmonic language of Tolles’ arrangement is influenced by jazz, using several extended harmonies in just the right places to help bring out the emotion. There is also a solo section, where each performer has a written out solo. Chord symbols are provided for performers who wish to improvise or embellish their individual solos. This arrangement captures the uplifting and heartwarming spirit of this enduring American melody.

This arrangement of Amazing Grace is dedicated to the memory of the great jazz mallet player Dave Samuels, who passed away in early 2019. The resulting arrangement was premiered at the 2019 PASIC by the Troy University Percussion Ensemble under the direction or Dr. Adam Blackstock.

This piece comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

2 vibraphones

2 marimbas—(1) 4-octave, (1) 5-octave

Ride cymbal

Reviews

Tyler Tolles’ arrangement of “Amazing Grace” begins with a vibraphone solo playing the familiar melody as one typically hears it. Once the other instruments join in, the melody becomes groovy with syncopated ostinato in the marimba parts underneath. Dedicated to Dave Samuels, this arrangement is jazzy and features the vibraphone as a soloist throughout, with the exception of a section in the middle where all of the ensemble players get a solo. 

This piece is designed to be a medium grade level, and the marimba parts are mainly two-mallet accompaniment, with steadiness and rhythmic confidence required of the players. The second vibraphone part fills out the sustained chords, with occasional rhythmic playing. The ride cymbal serves a similar function to a drum set, and while seemingly simple does require technical and rhythmic proficiency. 

The meat of this piece is in the first vibraphone part, which plays the melody and has two cadenzas. The cadenzas are written out with the option to improvise. For all of the solo sections, Tolles provides chord symbols so that the players have the option to improvise. This piece does contain a metric modulation, but it allows for the new tempo to be set by the ride cymbal, so this piece could be performed without a conductor if the players have good listening skills. 

Audiences love hearing familiar pieces, especially when presented in a new style, and this piece fits that criteria. There is pedagogical merit to be had in this arrangement, but mostly “Amazing Grace” would be a nice and crowd-pleasing addition to a high school or undergraduate percussion ensemble concert, particularly if the director is looking to feature a vibraphone player.

—Marilyn K. Clark Silva
Percussive Notes
Vol. 58, No. 1, February 2020

Description

Amazing Grace is a timeless melody that has been arranged for almost every combination of instruments and voices imaginable. Tyler Tolles brings an Afro-Cuban influenced arrangement to the world of percussion for mallet percussion and an accompanying ride cymbal part. The piece is designed with the high school or early college group in mind.

The harmonic language of Tolles’ arrangement is influenced by jazz, using several extended harmonies in just the right places to help bring out the emotion. There is also a solo section, where each performer has a written out solo. Chord symbols are provided for performers who wish to improvise or embellish their individual solos. This arrangement captures the uplifting and heartwarming spirit of this enduring American melody.

This arrangement of Amazing Grace is dedicated to the memory of the great jazz mallet player Dave Samuels, who passed away in early 2019. The resulting arrangement was premiered at the 2019 PASIC by the Troy University Percussion Ensemble under the direction or Dr. Adam Blackstock.

This piece comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

2 vibraphones

2 marimbas—(1) 4-octave, (1) 5-octave

Ride cymbal

Reviews

Tyler Tolles’ arrangement of “Amazing Grace” begins with a vibraphone solo playing the familiar melody as one typically hears it. Once the other instruments join in, the melody becomes groovy with syncopated ostinato in the marimba parts underneath. Dedicated to Dave Samuels, this arrangement is jazzy and features the vibraphone as a soloist throughout, with the exception of a section in the middle where all of the ensemble players get a solo. 

This piece is designed to be a medium grade level, and the marimba parts are mainly two-mallet accompaniment, with steadiness and rhythmic confidence required of the players. The second vibraphone part fills out the sustained chords, with occasional rhythmic playing. The ride cymbal serves a similar function to a drum set, and while seemingly simple does require technical and rhythmic proficiency. 

The meat of this piece is in the first vibraphone part, which plays the melody and has two cadenzas. The cadenzas are written out with the option to improvise. For all of the solo sections, Tolles provides chord symbols so that the players have the option to improvise. This piece does contain a metric modulation, but it allows for the new tempo to be set by the ride cymbal, so this piece could be performed without a conductor if the players have good listening skills. 

Audiences love hearing familiar pieces, especially when presented in a new style, and this piece fits that criteria. There is pedagogical merit to be had in this arrangement, but mostly “Amazing Grace” would be a nice and crowd-pleasing addition to a high school or undergraduate percussion ensemble concert, particularly if the director is looking to feature a vibraphone player.

—Marilyn K. Clark Silva
Percussive Notes
Vol. 58, No. 1, February 2020



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