Inspired by the non-violent civil rights protest of February 1, 1960 against a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, Freedom Defended strives to encapsulate the story of this now historic event. Commissioned by the band directors of the North Carolina Central District and East Central District Bandmasters Associations, this four movement piece honors each of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students known as the “Greensboro Four”, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and David Richmond. Their actions directly led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which mandated desegregation in public spaces. Movement 1 (Da Sogno) – The opening thematic material is dream-like and idyllic as the “Greensboro Four” enter the Woolworth Store at 132 South Elm Street and peacefully sit at the lunch counter and order coffee. Movement 2 (Con Fuoco) – The piece takes a dark turn when they are refused service and are told "We don't serve Negros here". The music is somewhat dissonant and rhythmic but a heroic theme captures the tenacity and courage of these brave young men. Movement 3 (Molto Cantabile) – A plaintiff theme portrays the hopelessness the four freshmen faced as they continued to be refused service until they leave when the store closed that night. Movement 4 (Con Spirito) – Undeterred, the “Greensboro Four” returned the next day, this time joined by more than twenty other black students. While they were again refused service, the sitins began to attract media attention and each day more and more students, both black and white, joined the cause. By February 4th, over 300 students staged sit-ins not only at the Woolworth Store but also the lunch counter at Greensboro's S. H. Kress & Co. The music is rejoicing and uplifting, similar to the opening statement, but now fully orchestrated and more fully developed. Coda – a quiet theme based on the motives from the opening thematic material brings the work to a reflective close as we remember these four men who, in the face of adversity, stood up for equality for all men and women.
Freedom defended on our YouTube Channel
|HAFABRA Music||Nº 827|
|Für||• Wind Band|