On Joyful Wing

From Wind Repertory Project
Carl Hammer

Carl Hammer

Subtitle: On a Hymn of Sarah and Lowell

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 3:45
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Hammer Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $100.00; (digital) - $100.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat 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 (div.)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • China Cymbals
  • Congas
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sarah Flower Adams wrote Nearer, My God, to Thee in 1841. It was later set to the 1854 tune Bethany by Lowell Mason. The song retells the story of Jacob's dream found in Genesis 28: 11-12.

And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of the place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and beheld a ladder set on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

This setting takes its departure from the fifth verse

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly
Still all my songs shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Along with the image of flight, the music also imagines a joyful 19th century revival meeting, complete with dancing, preaching, soulful exclamations and high-spirited worship.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Santa Monica (Calif.) College Wind Ensemble (Kevin McKeown, conductor) – 15 May 2022 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer