And Can It Be?

From Wind Repertory Project
David Gillingham

David Gillingham

Subtitle: Chorale Fantasy on 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness'

General Info

Year: 2000
Duration: c. 9:40
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $130.00   |   Score Only - $40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II-III-IV

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1981, I began my career as a college professor at Spring Arbor College in Spring Arbor, Michigan. It was customary at this church-related college to begin the day, several times a week, with an all-campus chapel service. On one particular occasion, I came late to the service during the singing of the opening hymn, And Can It Be?, a hymn deeply rooted in Methodist tradition, authored by Charles Wesley to the music of Thomas Campbell. Despite my Methodist upbringing, I have never sung or heard this hymn before. With over 700 voices resounding the strains of this hymn, I was immediately taken by its beauty and grandeur. The hymn has remained a favorite of mine and that memorable day is firmly etched in my mind.

After the tragedy at Columbine, Colorado, this hymn tune immediately came to mind with its title now bearing a double meaning. Whereas Charles Wesley wrote, “And can it be that I should gain and interest in the Savior’s blood?”, I asked, “How can it be that these young people should die so violently and needlessly?” One can only turn to God or a force greater than man for comfort amidst such terrible events. Hence, the inspiration for this work is taken from the affirmation of this hymn versus the escalating violence in our country, particularly in our public schools. The substance of this work is derived from the hymn, starting with a partial statement of the hymn which becomes twisted and snarled like the growing violence in our world. But, for the saving grace of God, love always reigns, and the hymn tune eventually emerges in glorious triumph.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by the California Band Directors Association

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Gillingham, D. (2005). No Shadow of Turning: Chorale Fantasy on "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" [score]. C. Alan: Greensboro, N.C.