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Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer
Drew Fennell, arranger


I think perhaps I have created more arrangements of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Rhosymedre than any other tune. It is a beautiful work that breathes as if it were physically living; and for that reason, I think, it translates so well from its original form as an organ chorale prelude to performance by wind instruments.

This piece was first introduced to me when I was in college by Donald Wilkins, one of the most supremely gifted musicians I have ever known. He was a professor of mine while I was an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University (and I have learned from him every time I have crossed paths with him since). Around about 1993 or so, he collaborated with my Phi Mu Alpha fraternity brothers and me in a performance of brass and organ music at his church. It was a great deal of fun working with Professor Wilkins - who truly does exemplify that old adage of having "forgotten more than I will ever know" about music. It was in this performance that my appreciation for Rhosymedre was born.

Vaughan Williams subtitled the work "Lovely," and that is perfectly apropos for the treatment of the piece. The hymntune (Rhosymedre) is a pretty little tune, but the interweaving of so many overlapping lines is stunningly beautiful. For me, the tune always calls to mind images of springtime.

  • Rhosymedre is published by Drew Fennell Publishing.
    Available for Brass Band, Large Brass Ensemble and Brass Quintet.

  • Hear a short sample of the Rhosymedre by Sine Nomine, Drew Fennell, Conductor, from the compact disc recording My Whole Heart [large brass ensemble version]*.

*Right click on the link and choose Save Target As... to download the file.

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Brass Band Instrumentation

Soprano Cornet in Eb
Solo & 1st Cornet in Bb
Repieno Cornet in Bb
2nd Cornet in Bb
3rd Cornet in Bb
Flugelhorn in Bb
1st Horn in Eb*
2nd Horn in Eb*
3rd Horn in Eb*

1st & 2nd Baritone*
1st Trombone*
2nd Trombone*
3rd Bass Trombone
1st & 2nd Euphonium*
1st & 2nd Tuba in Eb*
3rd & 4th Tuba in Bb*

(2 players)
suspended cymbal

*Parts for Horn in F as well as parts for Baritone, Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba in bass clef also available.

Large Brass Ensemble Instrumentation

1st Cornet (Trumpet) in Bb
2nd Cornet (Trumpet) in Bb
3rd Cornet (Trumpet) in Bb
4th Cornet (Trumpet) in Bb
1st Horn in F
2nd Horn in F
3rd Horn in F

1st Trombone
2nd Trombone
3rd Bass Trombone
Euphonium T.C. or B.C.*

(2 players)
suspended cymbal

*Includes optional 4th Horn substitute for Euphonium.

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