In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, I have created an arrangement of the traditional hymn We Gather Together, and I am wondering if you would be willing to help create a community-based recording of it!

The arrangement was originally written as a demonstration of harmonic techniques, but I really liked how it turned out. And given the challenges this year has presented to feelings of togetherness - from the isolation so many of us feel due to the impact of COVID19 to the divisiveness of politics - somehow this hymn in particular seems especially poignant and appropriate to the times. So I am feeling a strong desire to share it with others and "gather together" virtually.

The arrangement is for three female singers (SSA) plus guitar, bass, and drums, in something of a country-pop style. Male voices are welcome too, singing an octave lower if desired. Instrumentalists are welcome to play any of the written parts (including vocal parts). If you wish to create your own part, feel free to try that as well, although I may not be able to use parts that differ significantly from what is written. I have posted the sheet music to musescore.com; you can also view it below.

To create the recording, I have created a project on BandLab, a free website for editing and collaborating on audio. The version I uploaded to start from is based on the MIDI generated from MuseScore. My idea is that if I can get a bunch of musicians to each record a portion of this within the next few days, then by Thanksigiving (Thursday, November 26) I could assemble everything into a finished recording. So to participate, just open the project in BandLab, add a track, and record whiever part you like. You can record the entire track, or just one verse, or just a single phrase - whatever you feel comfortable with.

Although the arrangement is intended for three singers, I'd be thrilled to have more, and I could either create a choir or just use different phrases from different contributors. I haven't tried to organize a project like this before, so I can't really say much more about how it might work - I'm relying on the talent and ingenuity of the community here. Please check it out and if it feels like something you would be interested in taking part in, just give it a shot! BandLab is set up to so you can't mess anything up!

If you have questions about any of this, you can ask on BandLab, on musescore.com, or in comments here. Same if you have suggestions for how I can make it work better!

I have created some videos to explain the process. Here is one showing how to access the sheet music and learn a part from the arrangement:


And here is one showing how to record your part in BandLab:


Here is the sheet music, which you can read and play using the controls provided:

We Gather Together by Marc Sabatella

I hope you can take part in this project!