This is no ordinary setting of Wade in the Water … this setting expresses both the hope and the fear that an escaping slave must have felt while on the run. It begins quietly but urgently with the bass soloist expressing the sense that something powerful is at work–if escapees will only “… wade in the water,” God will “… trouble the water,” making it impossible for the blood hounds to pick up their scent. Moving from a straightforward, traditional beginning, a jazz style emerges, replete with a bass and choral riff over which the pianist is featured in a solo, and the piece continues to build to a hugely climactic ending that is sure to get your audience on its feet, making this a perfect concert closer. Wade in the Water is one of 11 spirituals available as an individual octavo from McCullough’s dramatic choral work, Let My People Go! A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railroad.
(Choral/Piano score sold only as a Digital Download)
(Optional Acoustic Bass and Percussion 1 & 2 also sold as a Digital Download. Please see the “More Info” tab above for more information)
Also sold separately as octavos from Let My People Go!
|Voicing:||SSAATTBB; solo bass (opt. solos SAT)|
|Accompaniment:||Piano (opt. Acoustic Bass and Percussion)|
|Duration:||4 minutes, 15 seconds|
Notes on the optional instrumental parts
It is feasible to use only the acoustic bass without using the percussion and vice versa. Although the percussion part is written for two players, it can be played quite successfully using only the drum set (percussion 1 part). This requires the player to ad lib. at times in order to cover the percussion 2 part. In any case, it is essential that the printed percussion part be used so that all tacets, dynamics, etc. are observed. When using 2 percussionists, the parts are broken down thusly:
Percussion 1=Drum Set
Percussion 2=Congas and Bass Drum.
(Note that both Percussion 1 & 2 appear in the same part.)
The acoustic bass generally doubles the piano bass line. The percussive quality of pizzicato played on the bass lends clarity to the bass line while also giving the performance more of a Jazz-like quality, however, since this part is covered in the piano, it is completely optional.
Instrumental parts are sold only as a digital download in a complete set. Although 2 sets of Percussion Parts are required (one set for each percussionist), please enter “1” under “Quantity” when ordering the instrumental parts. Permission is granted to make 2 copies of the percussion parts.
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