Deep River (arr Swearingen)

From Wind Repertory Project
James Swearingen

Traditional, arranged by James Swearingen

Subtitle: Chorale Prelude

General Info

Year: 1998
Duration: c. 3:53
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $45.00   |   Score Only - $6.00


Full Score
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-III
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Chimes
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by and dedicated to the Village Presbyterian Church Wind Ensemble, Prairie View, Kansas, Pat Smith Kelly, conductor.

- Program Note by score

Deep River is an anonymous spiritual of African American origin. It has been sung in several films, including the 1929 film version of Show Boat, although it was not used in the original show. The melody was also adapted into the popular song Dear Old Southland, in 1921.

At least one commentator has suggested that the song is intended to offer advice to slaves who want to run away, i.e., you should escape via a "river" to your "home…over Jordan" because the water will wash away your scent.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Mississippi: IV-A


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • California State University Northridge Wind Symphony (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) - 28 February 2023
  • California State University, Northridge, Wind Symphony (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) - 18 November 2014
  • Lake Oswego High School Symphonic Band - 24 April 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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