With over 80 arrangements for brass ensemble, 40 for big band and 45 for horn section, I thought it might be nice to share a little ‘behind the songs’ information for the actual hymns/songs we have chosen to create arrangements for instrumental folks literally ‘around the world.’
Today, I’ll begin with the hymn “It Is Well” which is a powerful hymn of faith that has connected with our family personally in many, MANY moments. JAC Redford, well respected film composer (Oliver and Company, Mighty Ducks, St. Elsewhere, Newsies, Coach, and orchestrator (Avatar, The Amazing Spider-Man, Skyfall, Spectre etc), has created this beautiful arrangement of this hymn for advanced high school/college level brass quintet (2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba).
For more information about this arrangement, click here
And now here is a little ‘Behind the Scenes’ about the hymn “It Is Well”
In times of both happiness and sadness, there’s something about music that touches our souls and gives us comfort. Among the countless hymns that have stood the test of time, one truly special piece is the classic gem called “It Is Well.” Penned by Horatio G. Spafford back in the late 1800s, this hymn has managed to inspire and console people around the world for over a hundred years. Its timeless message of faith, hope, and peace reminds us that even when life throws storms our way, our faith remains unshakable.
Verse 1: A Song Born from Tragedy “It Is Well” was born out of a tragedy that rocked Horatio Spafford’s world. He was a successful lawyer and a devoted Christian, but life dealt him some devastating blows. First, he lost his young son to an illness, and just when he thought things couldn’t get worse, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 wiped out his business investments. Determined to find solace, Spafford planned a trip to Europe for his family. However, due to unexpected business obligations, he couldn’t join them immediately. Unfortunately, tragedy struck again when the ship carrying his wife and four daughters collided with another vessel and sank. Heartbroken, Spafford sailed to meet his wife, and as he passed over the spot where his daughters perished, he found the inspiration to pen the words that became the first verse of “It Is Well.”
Chorus: Holding On to Unwavering Faith Despite experiencing unimaginable loss, Horatio Spafford’s hymn speaks of an unwavering faith in God’s plan. The chorus, “It is well with my soul,” is a powerful declaration that even amidst the worst pain, God’s peace can surpass all understanding. Spafford’s words remind us that our circumstances don’t have to dictate our faith. No matter how fierce the storms around us, we can find solace knowing that our souls are anchored in God’s unchanging love and faithfulness.
Verse 2: Redemption Through Christ’s Sacrifice The second verse of “It Is Well” explores the redemptive power of Christ’s sacrifice. Spafford’s lyrics assure us that no matter how deep our sins may be, they can be washed away, and we can be made clean through the blood of Jesus. Just as the hymn’s author found comfort and forgiveness in Christ, we too can discover hope and restoration in the midst of our brokenness. This verse reminds us that God’s love has the power to transform our lives.
Verse 3: Eagerly Awaiting Christ’s Return The final verse of “It Is Well” directs our gaze towards the future, expressing an eager anticipation of Christ’s return. Spafford’s words echo the promise that one day, all sorrow and pain will vanish, and we will be united with our Savior in eternal glory. It’s a powerful reminder to fix our eyes on the ultimate hope that lies ahead, even as we navigate the trials of the present.
Conclusion: “It Is Well” is more than just a hymn; it’s a powerful testament to the strength of faith when faced with adversity. Horatio Spafford’s personal tragedy gave birth to a hymn that continues to bring comfort, inspiration, and renewed hope to countless individuals worldwide. Through its profound lyrics and timeless melody, “It Is Well” reminds us that our peace and strength come from God alone, no matter what storms we face. So let this hymn resonate in your heart and remind you that in Christ, it is truly well with our souls.