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Heaven's Morning Breaks (flex)

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Brooke Pierson

Brooke Pierson

Subtitle: Flexible Piece for Concert Band

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 5:45
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Hymn
Publisher: Taurus Music Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $90.00; (digital) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Instruments Available:
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet
F Horn
Percussion (4 players; can drop parts as needed):

  • Timpani (4 drums)
  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes/Marimba*
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal

*Any metallic instrument can be substituted for chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I began writing this piece on March 23rd in 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic smothering the world. My initial reaction to the events unfolding were disbelief; that the world could be gripped by such an invisible enemy, rendering me and many others helpless. After adjusting to a surreal "new normal", I dedicated myself out of my inhibiting behavior and begin writing a piece that could not only bring joy and beauty from a difficult time but that would soothe my own soul.

Heaven's Morning Breaks is a composition centered around the hymn Abide With Me (to the tune of Eventide): both reflective and joyful.

The author, Henry Francis Lyte, wrote the poem after contracting tuberculosis at the age of 54. Just two weeks later, he died and the piece was first performed at his funeral.

The title comes from one of the closing lines in the last stanza:

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."

- Program Note by composer

Performance Notes

This flexible instrumentation allows for any combination of band instruments to play this work. The piece is structured in SATB - parts 1-4. While any part may work, the order of listed instruments best correspond to the number.

For example:

B-flat Soprano Clarinet, B-flat Trumpet, B-flat Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet

Each of those work best in the order of 1-4, respectively.

Parts with Divisi/Splits : However, in order to best accommodate flexibility, I have indicated split parts at key moments to adjust for the range capabilities of those instruments. Generally, clarinet will take the higher split, and trumpets the lower. Tenor sax should generally take the higher split.

When splitting parts, also keep in mind that the SATB designation may not necessarily mean the subsequent part is lower in register. This is sometimes the case, but other times, it may not be (and sometimes a split octave is indicated).

Solo Markings: These markings are indicated in every part but should still be one player, when possible, depending on how many players there are in total.

Consort Markings: These markings indicate where a specific instrument group (i.e. brass/woodwinds) should be utilized, when possible. These are recommendations to help create sonic variety in an SATB setting however you can select any set of players/instruments in those sections to achieve the sound you would like.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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