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God of Our Fathers (arr Knox)

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George W. Warren

George W. Warren (arr. Thomas Knox)

General Info

Year: 1876 / 1988 / 2014
Duration: c. 3:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig Masters through Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Tenor Drum


  • Percussion I, m.8, beat 3: Quarter rest should read half rest.

Program Notes

Composed for the centennial Fourth of July and arranged for the U.S. Marine Band for the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, this classic American hymn has been played at every presidential inauguration since that of President Reagan. It is accessible, with a timeless nobility and grandeur that is highlighted by expert scoring.

- Program Note from publisher

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 and 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

President Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration in 1981 included a world premiere of a new work for the Marine Band. Chief arranger MGySgt Thomas Knox was tasked to create a new setting of the well-known hymn God of Our Fathers for the inaugural ceremony. The ink on the new arrangement was barely dry on January 20, 1981, when the Marine Band performed the dramatic music between the oaths taken by the new Vice President and President. Knox’s inventive setting of the moving hymn was so brilliantly crafted that the work soon became a staple in the Marine Band’s repertoire and has been used for numerous significant national events over the past three decades, including the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982 and the Congressional Prayer Vigil held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda the day after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

- Program Note by the United State Marine Band


State Ratings

  • Tennessee: V
  • Virginia: IV


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • God of Our Fathers, Wikipedia Accessed 12 December 2015
  • Knox, T. (1988). God of Our Fathers: For Symphonic Band [score]. Ludwig Music Pub. Co.: Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 350-351.