Program Notes

KILE SMITH (b. 1956)

Ballad and March for Organ (*world premiere*) 

Transcribed for solo organ from Plain Truths, a song cycle for baritone and string quartet or piano. “Annie Lisle” is No. 2 of that set. It was a popular song whose tune became the melody for dozens of college alma maters, but this movement, although in the mold of a 19th-century American salon piece, is an original tune. The final song of Plain Truths, No. 7, is “Spirit of Freedom.” The abolitionist Wm. Lloyd Garrison wrote the following in his paper The Liberator, immediately after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery.

March: Spirit of Freedom
Spirit of Freedom! on—
Oh! pause not in thy flight
Till every clime is won
To worship in thy light:
Speed on thy glorious way,
And wake the sleeping lands!
Millions are watching for the ray,
And lift to thee their hands.
Still Onward! be thy cry—
Thy banner on the blast;
And, like a tempest, as thou rushest by,
Despots shall shrink aghast.
On! till thy name is known
Throughout the peopled earth;
On! till thou reign’st alone,
Man’s heritage by birth;
On! till from every vale,
And where the mountains rise,
The beacon lights of Liberty Shall kindle to the skies!

      —Wm. Lloyd Garrison, from The Liberator, 1865