Chris M. Sharpe
Joy Cometh in the Morning:
Eight trombones

Denton, Texas, United States
Publisher: C. Sharpe Editions
Date of Publication: 2018

Score and parts. Grade 4.


At the time of writing, Chris Sharpe is nearing completion of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Trombone Performance at the University of North Texas. A note included with this publication indicates that the piece was influenced by the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, in which 58 people were killed and 546 injured. The words of Psalm 30, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” were weighing on his mind as he drove to work one morning shortly afterwards, and “happened to witness a sunrise develop from pitch black through various shades of blue and orange into a fiery blaze.” That was the inspiration for this work. “Even from the darkest nights, joy greets us in the morning.”


Scoring is for eight-part trombone choir, six tenor and two bass. It is cast in the key of G-flat and marked “Slowly, like a sunrise.” Over a long-held open fifth on the tonic, first and third parts enter with upward reaching phrases that form its melodic contours. Sorrow is represented in a freely chromatic central section in which formerly fluent phrases are broken and distorted. Return of joy is indicated by reprise of the opening calm.


All parts are in given in bass clef. First tops out at b-flat1; bass 2 goes down to GG-sharp. This piece is suitable for a student ensemble of mixed ability and should be effective and beautiful. Even as I write this review, comes news of yet another school shooting. “All a poet can do today is warn” (Wilfred Owen).

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published January 31, 2019