17792, SATB, $2.20
Date Released: 1998
This may be the “definitive” setting of this classic spiritual! The initial section contains some new material by Hayes that tells in a musical story style how Ezekiel heard God speak to him in the valley of the dry bones and what the real meaning behind the song is. The style of the familiar chorus has a Latin feel, and Hayes has set it in a minor key which makes it sound like something you might have heard in a New York nightclub in 1930! Suffice to say the highly rhythmic accompaniment and harmonies are very appealing and entertaining, although very easy to sing. There is much unison and 2-part writing. The last two choruses are in D major, and sound like an entire graveyard of skeletons are dancing their hearts out…lots of xylophone, congas, brass, sax, and unusual percussion instruments create a surefire program finale. This arrangement is screaming for choreography, and your audience will not be able to sit still.