Be Still my Soul is a Christian hymn taken from Jean Sibelius' tone poem, Finlandia, written in 1899 and 1900. In this arrangement by James McFadyen, Be Still my Soul is written in a new colourful style whilst retaining the beautiful aesthetic of the hymn.
Focus on creating a warm broad sound, especially when the timbre comes from the full band colour as a whole.
Look closely at the voicing of the chords; there are several very subtle harmonic moments, including the use of delayed suspensions. This is evident in some of the horn writing.
There are many times, particularly in the latter half, where the use of ascending/descending scales, suspensions and tetrachords all play a significant part of propelling the music in a forward direction. Ensure these phrases are well balanced within the band sound; being subtle in a few places and bringing them into the foreground in others.
The chord voicing are often very close, meaning that the dissonant notes are a very short distance (often a semitone away) from a consonant note. For this reason, the general balance of intonation and tuning should remain a top priority for conductors.Community bands should definitely not be discouraged in performing this brass band arrangement, in fact many such bands of this standard have performed Be Still my Soul in concert and on the contest stage with great results, such as Whitworth Vale & Healey Youth Brass Band with their performance at the NWABBA Youth Championships on 22nd October 2016. Conductors will achieve beautiful results by ensuring that performers are encouraged to play with confidence and put their trust in the note combinations.