Inspired by the release of Nelson Mandela in the early 1990s, Hymn for Africa pays tribute to the sense of dignity and peace that he brought not only to South Africa, but around the entire globe. As the beautifully lush chorale unfolds, quietly undulating drums murmur in the distance and gradually build into a rousing climax.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 4:15
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
Horn in F 1/2
Horn in F 3/4
Percussion 1 (roto-toms or tom-toms)
Percussion 2 (bass drum)
Hymn for Africa was written as part of a project known as Brass Band Aid. When I was asked to compose a piece with relevance to Africa for the project, I began to think of all the things that I associate with Africa. I have vivid memories from my childhood of the hard-hitting news reports from the famines of the early/mid 1980’s (and the concerts that followed). I also associate Africa with amazing animal life - the many species from snakes to birds to lions, with their many colours. But more than these associations, there is one memory that stands out amongst all others.
The release of Nelson Mandela in the early 1990’s had a profound effect not only in South Africa, but all over the continent of Africa, as well as the World as a whole. The fact that one man can achieve this with peace and great dignity will always be an inspiration, not only to me, but many, many millions of humans around the globe. "Hymn for Africa" is inspired by this sense of dignity and peace. A simple eight bar melody is the basis of the composition. A drone is then added, before a chorale, and finally a rousing climax when the percussion and full band enter.
The piece dedicated to Bob and Briony Thompson in admiration.