About The Arranger, Raymond Wise
“I’ll Stand,” (HMC 2687) is an SSAATTB choral selection. This song is a part of the Raymond Wise Choral Series, with words and music by Raymond Wise. This gospel – influenced piece was published by Hinshaw Music, an international choral music publishing company.
Raymond Wise, is a reverend with a Doctor of Philosophy. His love of music began at the tender age of three, singing within his family’s gospel music group, “The Wise Brothers.” This life path influenced his creation of the work, “I’ll Stand.”
“I’ll Stand,” by Raymond Wise is a piece that portrays dedication to serving the Lord through music. The simple yet powerful lyrical content littered throughout, showcases the power of repetition, dynamics, as well as call and response performance. It is with this combination that it gains the ability to pull the listener in while also allowing them a musical space to stand with the Lord. This performance piece is an excellent choice for any concert season, and is recommended for the intermediate to advanced level choir, and features numerous high energy points throughout the song.
“I’ll Stand” – The Music
Throughout this piece, a call to action is made with the phrase, “Anyone here gonna stand for the Master?” With each call that is pronounced, “I’ll stand,” is immediately reiterated back from one or all of the surrounding sections, with a ripple-like response. Throughout this piece, there are also numerous moments in which the many sections sing their responses for the call at different times due to variations in the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voice rhythms. This section demonstrates the idea that although many people are currently standing right now, they will not always be able to answer the call at the same time as the person next to them. However, as time progresses the call will not disappear. It will remain with outstretched arms waiting for when someone is ready to stand. This is also displayed with the dynamic markings within the song.
The energy of the piece is kept due to the fast tempo, precise rhythms, and lack of empty musical space. Even as the other sections have rests, the space is always filled with another section either carrying a note or hitting quick staccato phrases, adding to the text painting aspect of the piece.
Within each phrase a text painting occurs as the voice quickly yet steadily rises in pitch when singing or standing for “the Lord”. As this energy continues to build, each section will often have different dynamics. For instance, there are moments where one section has a fast sfortzando (to play a note with sudden, strong emphasis) followed by an immediate crescendo while others have parts written in mezzo forte, further propelling the energy of the song selection forward, like the slight breeze one will feel as they are actually beginning to stand.
The piece then closes with a strong resonating fortississimo. This occurs on the very last “I will stand up for the Lord, stand up for the Lord.” It is at this moment in the piece, that all of the different vocal parts have the exact same rhythms, the same dynamics, the same words, and have finally stood together as one for the Lord. With a strong and powerful ritardando to the end to build intensity as well as clarity.