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American West Folk Suite

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Wind Band
2023
11 min.

Alto Saxophone

Baritone Saxophone

Bass Clarinet

Bass Drum

Bassoon

Clarinet

Cymbals

Euphonium

Flute

Glockenspiel

Horn

Oboe

Snare Drum

Tenor Saxophone

Timpani

Trombone

Trumpet

Tuba

Vibraphone

Xylophone

More Details

Program Notes
"Sweet Betsy from Pike" is a comic folk ballad chronicling the trials and successes of Betsy, a mid-19th century pioneer woman, as she migrates from (perhaps) Pike County, Missouri (or Illinois) to the California Gold Rush town of Placerville (known colloquially as ‘Hangtown’). The journey across the Wild West was full of hardship, peril, and loss. This song battles the very real struggles with levity and humor. It was first published in 1858. "Git Along, Little Dogies" is a cowboy ballad, also known as "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo". While likely older, the first mention of the song was in author Owen Wister's 1893 journal. It was first published in 1910. "Dogies" is a reference to small or orphaned calves. The narrative of the song quotes a cowboy singing to the slow or stray dogies as they move along the cattle drive to Wyoming. “Rock Island Line” refers the Rock Island and La Salle Railroad company (established 1947) which soon after became the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. When construction of the railroad arrived at Rock Island in 1854, it became the first to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River. This folk song references an encounter between an operator of a toll gate and a train engineer who is let through without paying by lying about his payload. Once safely through, he yells back his confession as the train speeds onward. The earliest known version of the song was published in 1929.
Recording Notes
MIDI recording
Ensemble Name
Baseline Publishing

External Links