Before I graduated from college in 2005, I wrote a couple arrangements of "The Star-Spangled Banner." The first was a bunch of overdubbed guitars, nothing written down, just a lot of ideas I had for embellishing and reharmonizing the melody. I recorded it at the request of my swim team, which was hosting a big meet and asked me to come up with something. The second was a four-part vocal arrangement based on the guitar recording. I don't remember how or why, but someone asked me to write a vocal arrangement for our commencement ceremony. I had never done anything like it and I was already overwhelmed with work, so of course I embraced the opportunity.

I wanted to make it look nice, so I got myself Finale and set about learning to use it. This was also my first computer-engraved score, beyond simple Band-in-a-Box lead sheets. Somehow I figured it out in the middle of everything else. Classmate/physicist/singer David Liao helped me understand the technical details of writing four vocal parts and directed seven other singers (two on each part) through several rehearsals and the final performance. I thought it sounded great, and I was quite proud, but no recording was made.

Since then, the computer on which that Finale file resided died a lonely death. I'm sure I could find it if I dug through the old hard drives I've kept in storage, but my own hard copy has miraculously survived. I recall moving it between my guitar cases, music stands, piles and binders of music materials, always with the intent to re-enter it into my computer some time soon. Well I found it again, cleaning out my music stand the other day, and I finally sat down and transcribed it into Sibelius. I present it to you now.

The Star-Spangled Banner (PDF)

And here's the cheesy MIDI output.

The Star-Spangled Banner (MP3)