"Before the mountains were born..."

Wind Ensemble  •  Grade 4  •  Chorale q=56, Toccata q=146  •  ca.7:20

"Before the mountains were born..."

Wind Ensemble (Grade 4)

Stephen Hill (ASCAP)

SARAHTIM Music Publishing

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Program Notes

“Before the mountains were born…” is a two-movement work reflecting on two Old Testament passages. 


1. Chorale - Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were born…” 

Lyrical and Polytonal. The Chorale begins the work with gentleness and returns after the Toccata to conclude in triumph.


2. Toccata - Psalm 98:8 “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains shout together for joy.”

The Toccata begins with a rhythmic timpani solo that remains upbeat and joyful as each section enters, culminating in a jubilant and rapturous tutti. The timpani solo returns and sets up the closing section. The brass section enters, joined with accompanying woodwind flourishes that build to a triumphant restatement of the Chorale.

Composed - 2020

Publisher - SARAHTIM Music Publishing (Stephen Hill) ASCAP



Flute 1-2


Bb Clarinet 1-3

Bb Bass Clarinet


Eb Alto Saxophone 1-2

Bb Tenor Saxophone

Eb Baritone Saxophone

Bb Trumpet 1-3

Horn in F 1-4

Trombone 1-3



String Bass


Percussion - Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Toms, Hi-Hat, Cymbals, Triangle, Tambourine, Shaker, Wind Chimes, Gong, Rain Stick, Chimes, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Marimba, Piano