River Valley Suite

Catalog numbers: 

SMC S802FS/ HL 3778550

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
Concert Band
This suite of five movements tracks the culture and events that have occurred around the Arkansas River over the course of history.  Movements: I. "The River" - This opening movement captures the panoramic view at the bend in the Arkansas River where the cities of Fort Smith and Van Buren are situated directly opposite each other.  II. "Trail of Tears" - A haunting melody portrays the terrible suffering of Native Americans who endured the journey from the homelands in the eastern United States up the Arkansas River to Oklahoma.  III. "The War" - The War Between the States is suggested by a spirited medley that includes "The Bonnie Blue Flag", composed by Arkansas comedian Harry Macarthy, originally a favorite melody among bands of the South, and later a favorite of military bands in both the northern and southern armies.  IV. "The People" - The theme in this movement represents the strongly religious and hard-working people (many of Scotch-Irish background) along the Arkansas River.  V. "The River" - The final movement is a return to the eternal "River Theme", and recaps all of the themes heard in the suite.  RIVER VALLEY SUITE was commissioned by and is dedicated to Mr. Bill Ratcliff and the Western Arkansas Wind Symphony.