This world-famous hymn is taken from original melody by William Henry Monk (1823-1889), known as Eventide. In this brass band arrangement of Abide with Me, the hymn is first heard as brass quartet, then the rest of the band join, building to a powerful and emotional close.
What are the lyrics to Abide with Me?
The first verse of Abide with Me is usually sung as follows:
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
The darkness deepens Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
At the beginning, it may considered to have the quartet of players stand at the front of the band to play the opening verse, or have them sat to one side of the band.
Although tutti band comes-in in the second verse, remember that there is considerable build-up to come, and to reserve the full-power playing for when it's truly required.
In the final verse, there is many interesting strands of counterpoint and interest; always ensure that as each point of interest is sounded, attention be drawn to it. It will not be difficult for the conductor to see the connecting strands dispersed throughout the band colours.
The final chord does not sound as if it has resolved. This is deliberate. For maximum sonic effect, play it strongly and confidently as if it were a fully-resolved cadence. Some conductors may wish to add an allargando on the semiquavers that lead into the last note.