Spine-tingling arrangement of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’

Sep 24, 2020 | Arrangements, Projects

A lush arrangement for SAATTB voice perfect for choir and vocal groups

I arranged the song for my amateur Eclipse Choir and we recorded in it Abbey Road Studios. I’m proud of how rich it sounds and I think a lot of vocal groups and choirs will embrace it too. The sheet music for SAATTB vocal groups and choirs is now published on Sheet Music Plus.

A teaching resource pack comprising vocal part recordings are available for £30.

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To me this is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

Majesty and vulnerability, wrapped in the utmost tenderness.

I wrote an arrangement for voice following an evening coaching my choir. During the warm up I got them to harmonise in tones apart, and the balance and tuning was so accurate in one moment that an artificial harmonic sprung out, two octaves higher. Just as a rainbow appears when light splits, it felt as if sound had created its own rainbow. It was magic so I wanted to write something that drew them back to that moment. The four tones appear in the second stanza of that arrangement – “there… at my command”.

Unfortunately, it is like chasing rainbows and we haven’t yet been able to recreate that in the situ of a performance, but we know it’s there!

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

by Eclipse Choir | arranged by James Hawkins

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Cover
Watch this space for another Coldplay arrangement I’ve got cooking, or subscribe to my mailing list so you can hear when it’s finished.

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