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Come Sunday

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Omar Thomas

Omar Thomas

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 12:20
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Omar Thomas
Cost: Score and Parts (rental) - $400.00   |   Score Only (print) - $50.00


1. Testimony - 6:30
2. Shout! - 5:35


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
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, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Drum Set (crash cymbal, mounted tambourine, kick drum)
  • Splash Cymbals, 8 and 10 inch
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Tom


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I played trombone in wind ensembles from the 4th grade through college. This experience has contributed significantly to the life I lead now. I had the pleasure of being exposed to sounds, colors, moods, rhythms, and melodies from all over the world. Curiously absent, however, was music told authentically from the African-American experience. In particular, I couldn’t understand how it was that no composer ever thought to tell the story of a black worship experience through the lens of a wind ensemble. I realize now that a big part of this was an issue of representation. One of the joys and honors of writing music for wind ensemble is that I get to write music that I wish had existed when I was playing in these groups -- music that told the story of the black experience via black composers. I am so grateful to Dr. Tony Marinello and the Illinois State University Wind Symphony for leading an incredible consortium that brought this piece to life. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to hanging with Tony and the group for a week in about a month’s time!

Come Sunday is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in black worship services. The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation's hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration -- the frenzied and joyous climactic moment(s) when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways. To all the black musicians in wind ensemble who were given opportunity after opportunity to celebrate everyone else’s music but our own -- I see you and I am you. This one’s for the culture!

- Program Note by composer

Singing is a part of the African American experience in the church and has been used in church to worship, provide different forms of communication, and create a sense of relief and encouragement. Hallmarks of the church experience such as the call-and-response method and the hymn-lining traditions are rooted in the history of slaves not being able to read. Both methods featured a leader reading the scripture and then the congregation repeating the material, signifying their understanding of the information.

The services transitions from hand claps and stomps to instruments in the early twentieth century during the beginning of the gospel era. The invention of the Hammond organ changed the church service, The Hammond organ became a cheaper alternative to the pipe organ and strengthened the ability to play melodies, harmonies and rhythmic accompaniments, becoming the foundation of the church services. Come Sunday represents this church tradition through the Hammond organ's role and provides an understanding of this individualized experience.

- Program Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Vol. 12


  • National Band Association Revelli Composition Contest, 2019, winner


State Ratings

  • MusicFest Canada: B600
  • North Carolina: Masterworks


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