By Robert Sieving
Highland/Etling String Orchestra
Recalling popular choral arrangements of African-American spirituals of the last several decades, the rhythmic style and energy of this piece is sure to please students and audiences alike. Characteristic examples such as "call-and-response" and flatted fifths present opportunities for the learning of stylistic elements, while players develop skills playing syncopated rhythms in both straight and swing styles. "Freedom Train" could also be used as a practical departure point for improvisation in the rehearsal or performance setting utilizing the basic I-IV-I chord structure found in the 4-bar introduction.