Arranging “There Is a Balm in Gilead”

Arranging “There Is a Balm in Gilead”

This past December, I had the good fortune to attend a Christmas concert by the choral group, Chanticleer. It was an evening filled with stunningly gorgeous music that left me with goosebumps galore.

After the concert, I came home and listened to at least another hour of their recordings. One of the pieces that really mesmerized me was a setting of the spiritual, There Is a Balm in Gilead, arranged by Joseph Jennings. I listened to it over and over again.

 

The next day, the tune was still swimming in my head non-stop, so I went to the piano and noodled up a little improvisatory piano solo setting, attempting to draw inspiration from the beautiful, thick harmonies I heard in the Chanticleer arrangement.

I recorded the piece that day, but didn’t take the time to notate it. Today, I finally notated the arrangement and have made the sheet music available here on the website.