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Vernon Griffiths (1894-1885): Fantasia on Three Hymn Tunes

for Brass Band

In 1970 at age of 76, the revered and respected New Zealand music
educator, composer, and conductor Vernon Griffiths wrote his Fantasia on
Three Hymn Tunes for Brass Band. Despite being written by a composer at
his zenith, this composition has received minimal attention from brass
bands and scholars to date. This project has produced a scholarly edition
for the Fantasia on Three Hymn Tunes, enabling this highly relevant
milestone work to be accessed by scholars, and performed by ensembles
throughout New Zealand while preserving it for generations to come.

Access to three holograph scores and an audio recording, in addition to

correspondence with Griffiths family has facilitated the production of an
accurate and informative scholarly edition complete with parts for

The Fantasia on Thee Hymn Tunes for Brass Band embodies the lifestyle
and attitudes of New Zealanders at the end of the dominion era. Its early
20th century English style compositional language, combined with celebrated
hymn tunes ensures continued relevance in the ears of New Zealand
audiences today, and in the future. As a New Zealand composition, and a
sacred work, the Fantasia on Three Hymn Tunes is highly relevant for brass
band competitions with those categories.