Allow me to offer a huge “Thank you” to Mr. James Colombo, the band director at Hauser Junior High School. I first met his students during the Spring of 2020 during a virtual clinic that Mr. Colombo arranged to introduce his students to professional performers on all the instruments during the quarantine period. I had the honor of working with the tuba and euphonium students. Further discussions led to the idea of writing music for his outstanding band, so in the fall of 2021 I composed this piece specifically for Hauser Junior High School.
Mr. Colombo suggested that we use the hymn “Chester” as a starting point for the composition. I was familiar with the well-known version of the hymn composed by William Schuman, so I wanted to both honor that work and create a distinctly different piece of music. While sketching ideas for our version of “Chester”, I realized how similar it was to the hymn known as “Diadem”. The lyrics to the two hymns were written during the same decade, the 1770’s, at the start of the Revolutionary War. I hope the students enjoy this energetic piece of music. The first stanza of the lyrics to both hymns are included below.
Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slav’ry clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God.
New England’s God forever reigns.
All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let Angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him, Lord of All!
Notes by Thomas Bough
December 21st, 2021
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