Shaker Gift Song, A
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 Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F
(percussion detail needed)
None discovered thus far.
The Shakers were a religious sect who splintered from a Quaker community in the mid-1700s in Manchester, England. Known then derisively as "Shaking Quakers" because of the passionate shaking that would occur during their religious services, they were viewed as radicals, and their members were sometimes harassed and even imprisoned by the English. One of those imprisoned, Ann Lee, was named official leader of the church upon her release in 1772. Two years later, driven by her vision of a holy sanctuary in the New World, she led a small group of followers to the shores of America where they founded a colony in rural New York.
The Shakers were pacifists who kept a very low profile, and their membership increased only modestly during the decades following their arrival. At their peak in the 1830s, there were some 6,000 members in nineteen communities interspersed between Maine and Kentucky. Soon after the Civil War their membership declined dramatically. Their practice of intense simplicity and celibacy accounts for much of their decline.
Today there is only one active Shaker community remaining, the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine. They maintain a Shaker library, a Shaker museum, and a website at www.shaker.lib.me.us.
The Shakers were known for their architecture, crafts, furniture, and perhaps most notably, their songs. Shaker songs were traditionally sung in unison without instrumental accompaniment. Singing and dancing were vital components of Shaker worship and everyday life. Over 8,000 songs in some 800 songbooks were created, most of them during the 1830s to 1860s in Shaker communities throughout New England.
A Shaker Gift Song is a separate publication of the third song from Simple Gifts: Four Shaker Songs. The idea for separately publishing this movement came from a middle school band director, who thought it ideal for Grade 2 bands. It is based on the Shaker lullaby, Here Take This Lovely Flower, found in Dorothy Berliner Commin's extraordinary collection, Lullabies of the World, and in Daniel W. Patterson's monumental collection, The Shaker Spiritual.
This song is an example of the phenomenon of the gift song, music received from spirits by Shaker mediums while in trance (see pp. 316 ff. in Patterson, op. cit., for a detailed account, and also Harold E. Cook's Shaker Music: A Manifestation of American Folk Culture, pp. 52 ff.). Although the Shakers practiced celibacy, there were many children in their communities, including the children of recent converts as well as orphans whom they took in. Like many Shaker songs, this lullaby embodies the Shakers' ideal of childlike simplicity.
- Program Note by publisher
None discovered thus far.
- Audio: Reference recording. University of Southern California Thornton Wind Ensemble (Frank Ticheli, conductor)
- Florida: II
- Georgia: II
- Indiana: ISSMA JUNIOR BAND GROUP II
- Kansas: III
- Maryland: II
- Tennessee: II
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Western Illinois University (Macomb) University Band (Lisa Hallen, conductor) – 2 May 2018
- Amador Valley High School (Pleasanton, Calif.) Wind Ensemble I (Patrick Dandrea, conductor) - 17 February 2018 (2018 CASMEC Conference, San Jose)
- California All-State Junior High School Concert Band (Jonathan Grantham, conductor) - 19 February 2017 (2017 CASMEC Conference, San Jose)
- All Middle Tennessee 7th and 8th Grade Gold Band (Marguerite Wilder, conductor) – January 2015
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Abracadabra (2005)
- Acadiana (2016)
- Amazing Grace (1994)
- Amen! (2009)
- An American Elegy (2000)
- Angels in the Architecture (2009)
- Blue Shades (1996)
- Cajun Folk Songs, Part One (1990)
- Cajun Folk Songs, Part Two (1997)
- Concertino for Trombone (1987/2007)
- Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble (Ticheli) (2014)
- Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble (2010)
- Dancing on Water (2015)
- December Snow (2015)
- Earth Song for Band (2012)
- First Light (2013)
- Fortress (1988)
- Gaian Visions (1990)
- Joy (2005)
- Joy Revisited (2005)
- Korean Folksongs from Jeju Island (2013)
- Loch Lomond
- Midnight in Nairobi (2019)
- Music for Winds and Percussion (withdrawn)
- Nitro (2006)
- Pacific Fanfare
- Portrait of a Clown
- Postcard (1991)
- Rest (2011)
- San Antonio Dances (2010)
- Sanctuary (2006)
- Serenade for Kristin (2018)
- Shaker Gift Song, A (2004)
- Shenandoah (1999)
- Silver Lining (2017)
- Simple Gifts: Four Shaker Songs (2002)
- Songs of Love and Life (2012)
- Sun Dance (1997)
- Symphony No. 1 (tr. Green)
- Symphony No. 2 (2004)
- The Tyger (2008)
- Vesuvius (1997)
- Wild Nights!
- Ticheli, F. (2004). A Shaker Gift Song [score]. Manhattan Beach Music: Brooklyn, N.Y.