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River Valley Sketches

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Matthew Donnelly

Matthew Donnelly

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 4:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Eighth Note Publications

Cost: Score and Parts - $78.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Mark Tree
  • Shakers
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This attractive composition, featuring Scottish folk-like melodic material throughout, was written as a musical depiction of New Hamburg, Canada, and the Nith River that runs through it. The inspiration for the piece came from the composer’s observance of the river during an early morning walk through his hometown, as well as the Nith River’s namesake, the Scottish River Nith. The opening section representing the river itself includes flowing sixteenth-note runs in the high woodwinds intended to convey a sense of water rushing over a dam, a dance-like melody first stated by clarinets, and playful rhythmic fragments. A faster passage features a lilting melody for solo alto saxophone, later joined by trumpets. A slower, more delicate, thinly-scored contrasting section depicts the sun rising over the river on a clear winter morning. The energetic final section, with driving rhythms and busy sixteenth-note patterns, serves as a musical depiction of the bustling New Hamburg downtown.

-Program Note from The Instrumentalist

This work won the 2013 Canadian Band Association Composition Competition.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • "New Music Reviews." The Instrumentalist, 69/8 (March 2015), p. 31.