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Blessing Of The Fleet Concert Band Grade 3 (Medium) 5 min. 13 sec.
While the Blessing of the Fleet tradition began in the fishing communities of the Mediterranean region, today it is celebrated around the globe and includes fishing fleets and pleasure-craft of all types. These celebratory gatherings (blessings) share several common traits; one or more priests/clergy perform the actual blessing, fishermen/boaters gather in their newly outfitted boats to receive the blessing, and family members unite in making whatever preparations are dictated by local tradition which may include parades, boat parades, carnivals and a host of appropriate community activities. In the U.S. The fishing industry accounts for over $30 billion in revenues annually making it the fifth largest fishing economy in the world.Blessing of the Fleet is written is celebration of this event. The opening measures serve as the theme for the entire piece. It should be played in a majestic and bold manner. The first section, Tempo di marcia, is in a march style. The conductor should be careful to keep the style in a spirited and upbeat manner. The second section, Religioso (the chorale or hymn), should be played rubato and in a legato style. This section represents the priests’ blessings for the fisherman and their boats. The last section (mm. 120) brings the piece to an exciting conclusion.
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