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Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB version) by the All-OMEA Chorus, Jing Ling Tam, conductor.
Download a PDF file of the choral score of this composition (SATB version). For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the choral score of this composition (SSAA and piano version). For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the orchestra score of this composition (SSAA and string orchestra version). For perusal only -- not printable.
Download an MP3 file of a MIDI demo of this work (SSAA and string orchestra version).
(The cover and design of this octavo, created by Christopher Gay for ECS Publishing, won first place in the 1998 Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence, awarded by the Music Publishers Association of the United States.)
The SATB version was commissioned by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association for the 1998 All-OMEA Chorus.
This Train is a traditional American song which uses the train as a metaphor for the way to heaven. "This train is bound for glory." Sounds of a train whistle and steam engine are interspersed with the music.
Additional lyrics have been added for contemporary relevance ("This train will stop at the ghetto...and at the factory door"). And new musical sections ("If you reach up, reach up to the sky...") have been inserted to broaden the formal structure.
This song was selected as the basis of this new composition due to the compelling rhythmical nature of the theme and the universal message of the lyrics. "This is the train of freedom and glory and justice, and it's pulling out tonight."
The SSAA version was ommissioned for the 30th Anniversary of the Saint Mary's College High School Women's Choir Festival Notre Dame, Indiana, Nancy L. Menk, conductor and premiered on November 29, 2014
This Train is a contemporary arrangement of the American gospel song, "This Train is Bound for Glory." The train is a metaphor for the way to heaven. Only the "pure" can take a ride. No gamblers, no "midnight ramblers" and certainly no "high steppin' women!"
The train itself comes to life in the song through sounds of the whistle and the steam engine. This is energetic, motion-oriented music. The refrain "This train is bound for glory, glory," is presented in rapid, rhythmic diction as the train goes "rumbling by."
With new lyrics added, this becomes a train for today's times. "This train will stop at the ghetto... and at the factory door." Yet the message is universal. "This is the train of freedom and glory and justice, and it's pulling out tonight."
Hold on tight!
Notes by the composer