Hosts of Freedom

From Wind Repertory Project
Karl L. King

Karl King (ed. John P. Paynter)

General Info

Year: 1920 / 1984
Duration: c. 2:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse Company
Cost: Score and Parts - $48.00   |   Score - $4.50


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet-Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Baritone Bass Clef
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Timpani


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Hosts of Freedom was clearly designed to meet the needs of less experienced players while offering them engaging melodies, bright counter-melodies, and interesting parts for all of the performers. More mature bands will enjoy these same benefits and may take the march at a brighter tempo than the 132 beats per minutes shown in the score.

In editing this piece for modern bands, I have retained King's original material in virtually unaltered form. Only in addition to preparing it for concert size printing were new parts for 3rd Bb clarinet and 2nd alto saxophone produced. New optional parts for contrabass clarinets, string bass and timpani are also included.

- Program Note by John Paynter

Hosts of Freedom was penned in the year of Karl L. King’s move to Fort Dodge, Iowa, after serving as a performer and conductor of several prominent circus bands of the day. Hosts of Freedom represents a simple, effective and straightforward form that the composer used again and again during his long and productive career as a composer. The march was clearly designed to meet the needs of less experienced players while offering engaging melodies, bright counter melodies and interesting parts for all sections. Originally published in 1920, it contains much of the flavor of “the big top” and it served as a fast finale for many circus bands.

Today’s arrangement, published in 1984, was done by John P. Paynter, long time president of the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors.

- Program Note from The Alabama Winds concert program, 20 December 2017

In the liner notes of the University of Michigan’s Music School album 200 Years of American Marches, Richard Crawford writes a most interesting essay on the structure of American march music. In a direct reference to Hosts of Freedom March he points out that the composer who is faced with a four-bar phrase structure must work to achieve continuity “to keep the music flowing from one section to the next despite the frequent, decisive cadences. If the main tune fills only part of a phrase, it is almost certain that a countermelody will float to the surface to fill the rest, and to push the phrase or strain on into the next ... just as jazz musicians enliven the ends of phrases.”

Circus musicians have taken advantage of this continuity and have used this march frequently since it was published in 1920. Within the last decade Hosts of Freedom has served as a fast finale for the elephant act by the circus bands with Beatty-Cole, King Brothers, Royal Hanneford, Carson and Barnes, and many others.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Coast Guards (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1942/2009)

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 345.