“[Patrick Dunnevant] wasn’t afraid to do some chord substitutions and play with the texture of it while still retaining, I think, the nobility of the original hymn…” – Dave Brown, Mouth Off
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing was arranged for the Beltones as my “senior solo” and was first performed in the ensemble’s spring concert on April 29th, 2011. It was also recorded on the group’s first recording, The Beltones, which can be listened to for free and purchased here. It was also performed by the Mills E. Godwin High School Madrigals in Henrico, Virginia.
This arrangement was reviewed and featured in the January 29th, 2012 episode of “Mouth Off,” an a cappella-related podcast. The segment begins at 18:35.
Each section of the work builds dynamically. Even in the opening section, where a single baritone sings the melody by himself, there should be a palpable amount of anticipation of what is to come. The ensemble grows and adds layers of parts and different ostinati with each verse, until the African-influenced fourth verse, when it all breaks loose into a rhythmic frenzy. Shortly afterwards, there is a three-part round on the melody:
This is a tribute to a composition teacher of mine, Deen Entsminger, who employed this in a setting of the Doxology.
Listen to the Beltones perform this arrangement:
Here are the Mills E. Godwin High School Madrigals performing the arrangement: