Hymn to Freedom

From Wind Repertory Project
Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson (arr. Robert Buckley)

General Info

Year: 1962 / 2017
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Song
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bells
  • Drum Set
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine

SATB Chorus (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

With its heartfelt message and appealing gospel flavor, this Oscar Peterson composition has been embraced by choirs throughout the world. This band arrangement matches the classic original and can be performed as a standalone band piece or combined with the choir.

- Program Note from publisher

Recognized as one of Oscar Peterson’s most significant compositions, Hymn to Freedom was written in 1962 and was swiftly embraced by people over the world as the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.

The piece was Peterson’s first major work and written with encouragement from his producer and dear friend Norman Granz. During those initial recording sessions, Granz urged Peterson to create a tune with a “definitive early-blues feel”.

For inspiration, Peterson drew upon various church renderings of Negro spirituals recalled from his childhood in Montreal. He aimed to maintain the unadorned, yet poignant quality of these early Baptist hymns while composing the beginning chorus of Hymn to Freedom.

The work was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.

- Program Note from Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

Hymn to Freedom first appeared on the Oscar Peterson Trio's 1963 album Night Train.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Bayview Secondary School (Richmond Hill, Ont., Can.) Grade 11/12 Wind Ensemble and Choir (Helen Geng, conductor) - 29 November 2023
  • Cascadia Wind Ensemble (Vancouver, B.C., Can.) (Shannon Goldsmith, conductor) - 6 November 2022
  • Millersville (Penn.) University Wind Ensemble (Joe Cernuto, conductor) - 24 April 2022

Works for Winds by This Composer