• Vaughan Williams - Rhosymedre for Trombone Choir

Vaughan Williams - Rhosymedre for Trombone Choir

Composer: Vaughan

Arranger: McKinney

$30.00 USD



In 1920, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed a set of three organ preludes based on Welsh hymn tunes. Of those three, Rhosymedre quickly became established in organ repertoire and has had enduring popularity. Shortly after the publication for organ, an arrangement for string orchestra with some optional wind parts was available from the same publisher. In the decades since,  many other arrangements of it have appeared for various ensembles including brass band, wind ensemble, flute choir, and even handbell ensemble.

In this arrangement, I have endeavored to recreate the sonorities of the original organ piece for trombone choir. I chose to write it for ten trombones so that the long legato lines could be dovetailed between parts, and therefore more sustained overall. I also wanted to create parts that did not overly tax endurance when performing the piece with one player on a part.

The layout of the score follows the layout of the original organ score. The first six trombones play the parts from the manuals other than the solo stop. Trombones 7 and 8 then, take the part of the solo stop for the hymn tune. And the bass trombones 9 and 10 are the pedal part from the original.

Trombone 6 is suggested to be performed on bass trombone mostly because of the sonority, (though I think there are technical advantages as well), but could also be successfully performed on a large bore tenor trombone with F-attachment. 

Trombones 7 & 8 should be prominent and warmly projected, but not forced in tone quality. They mostly alternate the phrases of the hymn tune to enable a sonorous, connected line. They could even be placed in front of the ensemble. In any event, their sound should ride on top of the overall ensemble a bit.

Bass trombone 10 can be performed on contrabass trombone.

It will be noted that in many cases the note values of bass trombone 10 are shorter than that of bass trombone 9 when doubling the same line at the octave. This is intentional and meant to recreate the mix of sustain and decay that one gets from a pedal division of an organ with the stops RVW calls for in his original score.

—Russell McKinney

This gorgeous 4 minute long setting of Rhosymedre for Trombone Choir arranged by Russell McKinney is very approachable by most trombone ensembles with all 10 parts in bass clef and presents no technical or endurance issues. Instrumentation is for 7 tenors and 3 bass trombones.

Below is a studio recording of this arrangement, all parts beautifully performed by Russell McKinney.

Free PDF Sample

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