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Voicing/Instrumentation: SSAATTBB, Organ/Organ Accompaniment

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More about Loren Erickson:
My first introduction to music was playing the trumpet in an elementary school band. How many of those do you see anymore? In Junior High I took up singing and performed in various choirs and musicals through high school and college. When I was called as ward music chairman and took on the additional responsibilities of ward choir director, I wanted to see of I could arrange music for the choir. Many of those early attempts were...well...awful. But I had a very forgiving Bishop and patient accompanists and choir and I continued to learn. I am now stake music chairman and have inflicted slightly less atrocious arrangements on otherwise unsuspecting congregations. I also currently sing with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, a multi-denominational choral movement spanning five western states in the USA. My experience in MCO has had a profound influence on how I look at music, what it means, and why it is important to understand meaning behind notes and lyrics when performing it. I hope that what I leave here is not as awful as I have suggested that it might be with this introduction, but either way, know that there is a little piece of my soul in everything you will find from me here. Please provide feedback on my work. That is the only way I will learn.
Song background:

UPDATED: I know this is terribly out of season, but for some reason I was prompted to revisit this arrangement.  In doing so, and after a change in the software I use to arrange and compose, I found several grevious errors in the notation, things that were at best unclear and occasionally just plain unpleasant. I am more comfortable with this version, which is not to say that it is finished.  So if someone decides to celebrate Christmas in June, please have a listen and let me know what you think. 

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Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains is one of my favorite Christmas hymns.  The interesting thing about this hymn though is it is not necessarily about Christmas.  Other than the setting provided by the title and the first line there isn't really anything in this hymn to tie it to Christ's birth.  In fact, if you examine the lyrics for all verses closely, you'll see that this hymn is all about singing praises and glory to God, which can apply in any Gospel setting.  The closing refrain: "peace on earth, good will to men" is also applicable at any time of year.  And that's why I love it.  

I've been tempted to sing this in a stake or ward choir setting in the middle of the year just to get a reaction.  Anyway, with this in mind, I wanted to come up with an arrangement that emphasized the fact that this is simply about our desire to sing praises to God, and there's a Hosanna Shout thrown in there for good measure.  

One note about the recording, the software I use offers an organ sample with one dynamic setting: loud.  So the transition into "Peace, Peace, Peace,..." at the end is intended to a much more dramatic dynamic shift.  

If you look at this music, please provide feedback.  I would love to hear what you think.  Enjoy. 

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