Land Of The Free, Thanks To The Brave

by Teresa Jennings

It's not an unfamiliar saying: Land of the free, thanks to the brave. But it's one that bears repeating. And especially with younger students, it's important to let them know that the freedoms they enjoy today are because of the sacrifices of so many who have come before. Particularly significant around Memorial Day, this song has a properly solemn tone designed to provoke thought and gratitude for those sacrifices.

You will note that it is a 2-part song, though part 2 is optional. As simple and brief as the piece is however, you may find the addition of the second part doable. It certainly adds to the overall impact. If your singers need a little help, consider supplementing your choir with older students or even adults (parents, teachers, administrators, friends, etc.) to sing part 2. Take care not to have too many though, lest you overwhelm part 1. To help you teach both parts, we have isolated them and put them on our web site for your free access. There you will also find an a cappella version that demonstrates the vocal beauty of the parts together. (For more information, refer to the box on page 62.)

The background accompaniment on the recording is a brass choir, which is quite appropriate for a song like this. Our trumpet soloist was John Rommel, and the euphonium soloist was Loy Hetrick. The piano part is very easy and playable if you prefer to do this live. However you will need the trumpet cues covered, preferably with your own trumpet soloist, though other instruments could be used. (Transpose as needed.)

At the end of the song, the singers have a few measures rest while the music concludes. They are asked to stand in silent reverence. Do your best to include this, as it is an important moment.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.