Trumpet quartet sheet music for This Is the Day is available at:
This Is the Day (Psalm 118.24)
There are a lot of Christian songs based on Psalm 118.24. Isaac Watts wrote a hymn based on this verse in the 18th century and there are now a few popular praise and worship songs based on this verse as well. I haven’t counted them all, but it’s safe to say that Psalm 118.24 has been a popular theme for hymns and praise and worship songs for a long time.
My composition is neither a hymn nor a praise and worship song. It is a classical trumpet quartet composition with heavy salsa rhythm influence.
The melody came to me during a church service. I had just recorded Derrick Horne’s album, My Purpose, and his praise and worship song based on Psalm 118.24 was fresh in my mind (see his live performance of that song on the video below). At the church I was working at, our music pastor had written his own praise and worship song based on that verse and we were doing that one at our church service. And I had kinda sorta grown up with one of the more popular songs.
It was in that context of being saturated with different musical interpretations of the verse that the melody for my This Is the Day trumpet quartet composition popped into my head.
I didn’t originally hear it as a trumpet quartet.
A Praise and Worship Song
I originally wrote my melody out as a praise and worship song. I have written a few praise and worship songs, but no one has ever been interested in using them. I don’t understand what that source of resistance was.
For me, it didn’t hurt my feelings or anything like that. I mean, I’ve been publishing my own sheet music and getting my compositions performed all over the world for decades. I know that vocal stuff isn’t my forte. So, really, I didn’t take it personally.
However, the WAY people snubbed my work made me feel for the many writers I’ve heard complain about this happening to them. It almost seemed like a territorial thing. Like, “this is my turf and you better back off.” Ha ha!!!
Years Later – Trumpet Quartet
It was about ten years later when I took that praise and worship song that I wrote and used it as the basis for my This Is the Day trumpet quartet. And to tell you the truth, I’m glad things worked out the way they have.
The original melody that I wrote down was in alignment with the clave. Many of my melodies are. This is from over two decades of playing primarily salsa gigs for a living. You can’t play that much salsa music and not have the clave infect you like that forever.
Since the original melody was en clave, I decided do what the great salsa writers do and honor the clave throughout the piece. In good salsa writing, for what is called “puro salsa” (pure sala), they never “cross clave“. In the English music world we call that turning the beat around. En puro salsa, they never “turn the beat around”. So I decided that this composition, my This Is the Day trumpet quartet composition, would stay true to the clave this way throughout.
It is still technically a classical composition. Some would say that it is only “quasi classical”. And to that, I would say, “thank you very much.” I am proud of the fact that my music doesn’t fit the genre well enough to some people’s liking. Ha ha!!!! I even called my first trumpet ensemble album “Trumpet Quasi Master” because a famous trumpet player once told me that my music was not “classical” trumpet music. He’s the one who originally called my style of writing “Quasi classical”. 🙂
Again, “Thank you very much!”
Getting back to the point…
This is a classical trumpet quartet. It is NOT a salsa trumpet quartet. This Is the Day is as classical of a composition as Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F is, or his American in Paris. Gershwin and other similar fringe composers were widely criticized for not writing genuine classical music. So I am in great company.
The form of my This Is the Day composition is a rhapsody. I like to think of rhapsodies as musical journeys. A rhapsody is a less organized form with distinct sections but less structured than other more formalized forms, like rondo, sonata allegro, etc.
A lot of my compositions are rhapsodies. They take you from one place to another with no real need to revisit the places you’ve been. It’s like taking a holiday in Europe, making a big circle through the different countries and experiencing each of the different cultures for a short period before moving on to the next. That’s what a rhapsody is like. That’s what my This Is the Day is like.
This Is the Day Skill Level
The skill level for This Is the Day is advanced. In our system of seven skill levels, This Is the Day is placed at the sixth level, the Trumpet Master level. The highest note is only a D above the staff, but the first part stays up in the higher range for a long time. There are also rhythmic issues due to the clave rhythms.
The piece is not too overly difficult. It has been performed around the world. I even received an email from a teacher in the UK, Julian Poore, saying that his students really enjoyed the piece and that they even performed it for Prince Edward at Winchester Cathedral.
I tell people that, of all my trumpet ensemble pieces, This Is the Day is the one that is most popular. But I have to clarify that I am NOT saying that it sells better than the rest. No, I haven’t done as good of a job promoting this piece (thus the blog post) as I have some of the others. When I say it is one of the most popular, I mean that it get’s by far the most enthusiastic response. People REALLY like this piece. And I’m glad.