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Eternal Father, Strong to Save

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Claude T. Smith

Claude T. Smith

Subtitle: The Navy Hymn

General Info

Year:1860 / 1975
Duration: c. 6:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Claude T. Smith Publications, Inc, through Wingert-Jones
Cost: Score and Parts - $70.00   |   Score Only - $7.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboes 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 Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Horns in F I-II-III-IV
Trumpet I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tubular Bells (or Chimes)
  • Vibraphone


  • Flute I & II and Piccolo. 12 meas. after reh. B: add rehearsal "C" (at the key change).
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I and II. 4 meas. before reh. C, beat 4: E should read D. (Correct score also)
  • Horn in F I. 9 meas. after reh. F: add reh. “G”
  • Baritone Treble Clef. 1 meas. before end, beat 4&: G should read A.

Program Notes

Rich in harmony, dynamics, and thematic interplay, Eternal Father, Strong to Save is based on the missionary hymn of the same name composed in 1860 by William Whiting (1825-1878), which was adopted as the official hymn of the U.S. Navy. This work opens with a brilliant fanfare. The melody of the hymn then appears in a fugue developed by the woodwinds. The brass echo the fugue until the melody once again appears played by the choir of French horns. The ensemble joins in for a finale reminiscent of the introductory fanfare.

- Program Note by San Luis Obispo Wind Ensemble concert program, December 11, 2010


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: V
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Minnesota: I
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Central Washington University (Ellensburg) Wind Ensemble (T. André Feagin, conductor) - 1 December 2021
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 15 November 2020
  • Dordt University (Sioux Center, Iowa) Wind Symphony (Onsby Rose, conductor) - 16 October 2020
  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 12 November 2019
  • Illinois Valley Community College (Oglesby, Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Gene Montgomery, conductor) – 5 May 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Symphonic Band (Michael Robinson, conductor) – 5 April 2019
  • Delaware Winds (Dover) (Jordan E. Kinsey, conductor) - 2 April 2019
  • Martin Luther College (New Ulm, Minn.) Wind Symphony (Miles Wurster, conductor) – 17 February 2019
  • Roberts Wesleyan College (Chili, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Ken Pfromm, conductor) – 14 February 2019
  • Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Community Band/Wind Ensemble (Shaun Salem, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • Cleveland Winds (Cleveland, Ohio) (Roby George, conductor) – 11 November 2018
  • State College (Penn.) Area Municipal Band (Darrin Thornton, conductor) - 11 November 2018
  • California State University, San Bernardino, Symphony Band (Nicholas Bratcher, conductor) – 7 November 2018
  • Lansing (Mich.) Concert Band (Mike Scholes, conductor) – 21 October 2018
  • New Orleans (La.) Concert Band (Charles Taylor, conductor) – 4 July 2018
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Wind Ensemble (Mike Fansler, conductor) – 5 May 2018
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire University Band (Randal C. Dickerson, conductor) – 2 May 2018
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Symphony (Chad Shoopman, conductor) ) – 1 March 2018
  • Wheaton North High School Wind Ensemble (Kent Krause, conductor) - 2 November 2017
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphonic Band (Dennis W. Fisher, conductor) – 26 October 2017
  • Allegheny College (Penn.) Band Camp for Adult Musicians (Michael Colburn, conductor) - 30 June 2017
  • Palmetto Concert Band (Columbia, S.C.) (James K. Copenhaver, conductor) – 20 December 2008 (2008 Midwest Clinic)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Barber, Carolyn. "Eternal Father, Strong to Save." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 624-631. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
  • Claude T. Smith website
  • Smith, C. (1975). Eternal Father, Strong to Save: The Navy Hymn [score]. Wingert-Jones: Kansas City, Mo.