Iowa Choral Directors Association
R&S – High School Choirs

Octavo of the Month (9th in a series)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair

Stand By Me

Charles Albert Tindley; arr. Moses Hogan
Hal Leonard
SATB (08743328)

Duration: 4:12
Medium Difficulty

This is a great piece for teaching rubato and feelingfulness. Written in strophic form, this hymn-like setting has the potential for being one of your choir’s favorites. The a cappella harmonies, while predictable, are beautiful with frequent suspensions, chromatics, and passing tones. Ranges are very moderate, with the exception of the bass (low Eb).

There is some divisii in the vocal parts and some mild dissonances in the harmony, but the parts are not difficult. Fermatas and rallentandos are abundant. The third verse reaches a peak of religious fervor on the text, “When my foes in battle array, undertake to stop my way, Thou who never lost a battle, Thou who knowest all about me, Thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.”

If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Moses Hogan, then, I think you will find that this piece takes on a very special meaning and significance.