This is an easy arrangement of the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! for a string quartet or ensemble in D major. The text was written by Reginald Heber and the tune by John B. Dykes. It is a well-known Christian hymn that appears in at least 1451 hymnals, according to hymnary.org, and falls under the category of “Opening Hymn”, which means it is sung before the sermon begins. Violin 1 / Solo has the melody, if anyone is looking for the melody only. (The .pdf contains the full score and separate parts.)
This season, a church requested that I run a string group for some of the string players of their church ensemble before their winter concert. We have been doing religious and Christmas music. This simple 4/4 piece has been the warm-up piece most sessions. The group enjoys when I play the cello part instead of conducting and have marveled, “We sound good!”
For a cautionary tale about group make-up: I was told this group would be teenagers who all had been playing for a while and needed some pointers. When I walked in to teach them, I had 2 complete beginners who could not read music out of 4 children, 2 children were about 9 or 10, and 1 child was 7 or 8. The youngest child was unable to follow directions, so I recommended that she not attend. Her replacement was an adult beginner who, by nature of being more mature, was able to learn quickly, can follow directions, and can work alone. The adult went from never played any instrument to being able to slowly read music and fingerings and play the music in 3 weeks. The 9- or 10-year-old beginner had already played a bit before coming but still cannot play the music correctly… and sometimes completely forgets to look at the references I provided to help her understand written music.
I wrote this arrangement so we would have something to do as a full group. The differences in playing levels and maturity has made this group not do as well as they could have. This group would have gone better and they would have learned more overall if they all were able to do the independent exercises on their own; read music, even if not fluently; and be responsible about bringing their music with them every session.
To download free sheet music, full score and parts in one file, for “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” arranged for a string quartet/ensemble (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello) as a .pdf, please click here: