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North Star to Freedom (In Honor of the Underground Railroad)

By Soon Hee Newbold

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String orchestra - Level 3
Composed by Soon Hee Newbold. String Orchestra. FJH String Orchestra. Score only. Full Set (score and parts) also available: ST6170. Score only. Duration 4 minutes, 20 seconds. Published by The FJH Music Company Inc (FJ.ST6170S).

Item Number: FJ.ST6170S

Explore the rich and important history of the Underground Railroad in this serious festival work. Opening with a solemn chorale, themes in the cello and bass soon take on the character of traditional spirituals. As the piece moves into a lively allegro section, the music becomes much more dramatic, depicting the excitement, nervousness, and extreme courage displayed by those who were able to escape to freedom. Inspirational!
In honor of the Underground Railroad, North Star to Freedom was commissioned by the 2008 OMEA District 14 Junior High Honor Orchestra in Cincinnati, OH. Slaves in the South followed the North Star to various safe houses and stops to reach the North for their freedom. Many would journey as far as Canada, where they were safe from being forced back to the South. Traditional songs like Follow the Drinking Gourd and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot were actually code and instructions for fleeing slaves. The beginning Grave is hymn-like and nostalgic. The theme in the bass and cellos at measure 19 is reminiscent of traditional spirituals slaves would sing in the fields. Overall, quarter notes and eighth notes should be broad and not too separated. Rhythmic passages and counterharmonies may be shorter and lighter, but all themes and melodies should be legato and sustained.

About FJH String Orchestra

More emphasis on bow technique and independence of lines. For the accomplished middle, high school, college, or professional group. Grade 3 and up

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