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They Shall Run and Be Free

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Brant Karrick

Brant Karrick

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 6:15
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $78.00; (digital) - $78.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00;


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute I-II
English Horn (optional)
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, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Cabasa
  • Chimes
  • Concert Tom
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Shakers
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibra-slap
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This dramatic tone poem was written after a moving visit to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, reflecting the danger and daring experienced during a perilous slave escape. The opening main theme works through changing meters and dissonances reflective of running for one's life while being chased. The slower middle section includes a setting of the beautiful Negro spiritual Oh Freedom which reflects the attitude and desperation of many slaves.

- Program Note from publisher

Perhaps the most shameful and painful memories in United States history occurred during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the institution of slavery. Within that time an organized system to assist runaway slaves began. In 1786, George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.” The network grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” after the then-emerging steam railroads. The system even used railroading terms: the homes and businesses where fugitives could rest and eat were called “stations” and ”depots” and were run by “stationmasters,” those who contributed money or goods were “stockholders,” and the “conductor” was a guide responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next. Ohio was a crucial route for the Underground Railroad. It has been estimated that 40,000 runaway slaves escaped to Canadian freedom through Ohio. A secret and successful network of over 700 safe houses waited for those fugitives fortunate enough to make it to -- and across -- the Ohio River. Although a “free state,” Ohio was a distinctly dangerous host to the escapees. Bounty hunters hounded the state and the Ohio Black Laws rewarded those who turned in or reported runaways. Law officers were aggressive, particularly following the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.While many fugitive slaves were caught or killed during their flight for freedom, many tens of thousands were successful. For that reason the piece concludes with a glorious final statement of the spiritual “Oh Freedom, and celebrates what must be held truly priceless to all people – FREEDOM!

Commissioned by the 2007 OMEA District XI Festival Honors Band, Sidney, OH.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Maryland: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Karrick, B. (2009). They Shall Run and Be Free [score]. Alfred Publishing Co.: [Van Nuys, Calif.].
  • Perusal score