A Patriot's Anthem
for Full Concert Band
by David P. Miller

"Grab Your Audience's Attention From The Very First Note!"

 
"I think this is the best arrangement of the national anthem I have ever heard."

Dr. Christopher Shelt, D.M.A.
Chair of Vocal Music
Belhaven College


I'll bet you've been in this situation many times -- 

The National Anthem starts to play, and the person next to you sighs and starts to read the program. The person on the other side fidgets and shifts from foot to foot, obviously impatient for "this thing" to be over so they can get on with the real event.

"Hold it!" you want to shout at them. "This is our National Anthem here! This is the tune that's supposed to symbolize our patriotism, our love for our country! Don't you love your country? Don't you respect the flag, don't you love the song?" 

But wisely, you hold your tongue. 

Why does this happen? Why do people fidget? Why don't they pay attention to The Star Spangled Banner?

The truth is, everyone has heard this tune so many times before, there's nothing new there for them, especially when it's the same arrangement, the same instruments, the same harmonies. 

Quite simply, they are bored!

So how can you get around this? How can you GRAB their attention and make them sit up and take notice? How can you get them to let out the patriotism and emotions you know they have in their hearts? 

You do this by giving them something new, something different, something exciting!

You do this by replacing your old arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner with A Patriot's Anthem.

Have you ever read all four verses of The Star Spangled Banner, as written by Francis Scott Key? I mean have you ever really paid attention to them? They are all very good, but the fourth verse in particular has a kind of eerie applicability to our situation in the world today. 

It's as if Key could foresee all the global troubles and strife that would beset us, even two hundred years after he penned the words.

Here's what happens in this tune. A Patriot's Anthem begins with a regal fanfare, then the band fades so the soloist can sing ...

...the fourth verse first! 

That's right, in A Patriot's Anthem, we grab the audience's attention and focus their minds on these poignant words with a solo singer with band accompaniment. Read again the words to that verse:

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Bless'd with vic'try and peace, may this heav'n rescued land
Praise the pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just!
And this be our motto, "In God Is Our Trust!"
And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

These words are sung to the "standard" tune we're all familiar with, but here's the difference. The harmonies have been massaged to be much more appropriate to the words. You'll hear the unmistakable musical portrayal of "war's desolation" and "pow'r that hath made" and "conquer we must!" 

Anyone who pays attention to the words and hears this music cannot fail to be moved to the core of their patriotism.

After the soloist concludes this verse, the band reprises the fanfare, while the soloist/narrator invites the audience to stand and join in singing the words we all know to our National Anthem. 

After such an introduction, it is not unusual to see tears running down many cheeks during the singing of the "First" verse of the song.

If you want something new and different, if you want to reach out and grab your audience and shake them by their patriotism, you've got to get and play A Patriot's Anthem.

You'll be glad you did, and so will your audience.

The price of this piece is $49.97 for the full version. Your purchase comes with a full score, a condensed score, a piano/vocal score, and all instrumental parts in PDF format, and permission to make as many copies of each as you need for your band or singers.

Please see our duplication policy on our Copyright Page.

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Your audiences will remember you playing this for a long time.

 

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