Ride the Chariot

Ride the Chariot


Title: Ride the Chariot

Subtitle:  Traditional Spiritual

Arranged by:  William Henry Smith, 1939

Adapted for handbells:  Scott McGlasson

 Handbells used:  3 – 6  octaves

Handchimes used:  2

 Level:  3

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             The William Henry Smith acapella vocal arrangement of this favorite spiritual was copyrighted and published in 1939. The work is commonly performed by glee clubs and is especially prominent in the repertoire of the Yale Glee Club and the Yale Alumni Chorus. This adaptation for handbells faithfully reflects the excitement in the lyrics – “Ride the chariot in the morning, Lord … I’m getting’ ready for the judgement day!”

Scott’s adaptation features melody in both bells and handchimes with a variety of techniques including mallets, mallet-lift, echo, gyro, shake and mart-lift.  Syncopation drives the engaging rhythm with dynamics ranging from the very softest possible pianissimo to fortissimo with shakes, accents, and marts emphasizing the excitement of this nicely-crafted setting.

This will be a wonderful addition for all groups to add to their repertoire for both worship and concert!

Octave Ranges
3-6 Octaves
Level of Difficulty
Level 3
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