God of Our Fathers (arr Smith)

From Wind Repertory Project
George W. Warren

George W. Warren (arr. Claude T. Smith)

General Info

Year: 1876 / 1975
Duration: c. 7:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Claude T. Smith Publications, Inc., through C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score Only - $9.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum
  • Timbales
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Originally written for brass choir and organ, this chorale prelude was rescored by Claude T. Smith for symphonic band where it has become a staple of concert band literature. It opens using the same brass choir as the original version before the expanded instrumentation with woodwinds and percussion is introduced. 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of this landmark piece for wind band.

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band;
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

- Program Note from score

God of Our Fathers is a 19th-century American Christian hymn, written in 1876 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence. The hymn was written by Daniel C. Roberts, a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church serving, at the time, as rector of St. Thomas & Grace Episcopal churches in Brandon, Vermont. Roberts had served in the American Civil War in the 84th Ohio Infantry.

In 1892, Roberts sent the hymn anonymously to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to be considered by a group tasked with revising the Episcopal hymnal. If the group accepted his hymn, Roberts said he would send them his name. The commission approved it. The hymnal editor and organist George W. Warren were to choose a hymn for the celebration of the Centennial of the United States Constitution. They chose Roberts' lyrics, which were originally sung to a tune called Russian Hymn. Warren wrote a new tune called National Hymn.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class BB
  • Arkansas: III
  • Georgia: V
  • Iowa: III
  • Kansas: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Maryland: IV
  • North Carolina: V
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • Tennessee: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony C. Marinello, conductor) - 17 November 2023
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Concert Band (Benjamin Rochford, conductor) - 7 March 2023
  • Angelo State University (San Angelo, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Alvis, conductor) - 1 May 2022
  • University of Akron (Ohio) Wind Symphony (Galen S. Karriker, conductor; combine antiphonal brass) – 14 February 2022
  • East Grand Forks (N.D.) High School Band (Stacey Searle, conductor) – 3 December 2019
  • Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) Civic Wind Band (Linda Moorhouse, conductor; Nathan Gunn, narrator; David Schroeder, organ) - 29 June 2019
  • Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Mich.) Band (Byron Graves, conductor) – 2 March 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Brent Penshorn, conductor) – 20 February 2019
  • Washington County (Va.) All-County Band (Onsby Rose, conductor) – 12 January 2019
  • Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau) Wind Symphony (Martin Reynolds, conductor) – 19 October 2018
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Power Band (Ray Velasquez, conductor) – 27 March 2018
  • Northwestern Michigan College (Traverse City) Concert Band (Jeffrey Cobb, conductor; Grand Traverse Chorale) - 23 February 2018
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Concert Band (Brian Diller, conductor) – 14 December 2017
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor) – 29 November 2017
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) University Band (Onsby Rose, conductor; University Singers) – 2 March 2017
  • Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) Civic Wind Band (Linda Moorhouse, conductor) - 2 July 2016
  • Tri-Valley High School (Downs, Ill.) (Dan Marcotte, conductor) – 28 April 2016
  • Illinois State (Normal) University University Band (Gavin Smith, conductor) – 13 November 2015
  • Appalachian State Symphony Band (Kevin Gray Richardson, conductor) – 3 December 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • God of Our Fathers, Wikipedia
  • Miles, Richard, compiler and editor. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 5. GIA Publications, 2004, pp. 432-437.
  • Warren, G.; Smith, C. (1974). God of Our Fathers: Chorale-Prelude [score]. Wingert-Jones Music: Kansas City, Mo.