Cane River Murals

From Wind Repertory Project
Martin Ellerby

Martin Ellerby

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General Info

Year: 2012
Duration: c. 16:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Studio Music
Cost: Score and Parts - £130.00   |   Score Only - £40.00


1. Spring Planting (Spiritual) – 3:55
2. Wash Day (Scherzo) – 2:26
3. Baptism, Wedding & Funeral (Triptych) – 4:42
4. Honky Tonk (Blues) – 2:09
5. Pecan Harvest (Celebration) – 2:49


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon 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-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-VI

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Cane River Murals was commissioned by and dedicated to the Northwestern State University Wind Symphony, Natchitoches, Louisiana, William E. Brent, conductor, for the 100th anniversary of their band program. The work is based on the African House Murals by Clementine Hunter that are housed and preserved on the Melrose Plantation. Ellerby also used the idea of the Cane River to bind five separate movements together, flowing as it does through the whole scenario, as do bells in their various symbolic guises. The movements are as follows:

Spring Planting (Spiritual) A kind of miniature overture, the river motif is announced immediately and combined with the spiritual Deep River, which is partially quoted, forming the basis for the opening.

Wash Day (Sjherzo) A scene depicting much activity and individual endeavor set in a swing tempo. There are ‘improvised’ patterns in the percussion and even a wash board employed to convey the mood suggested by the mural.

Baptism, Wedding & Funeral (Triptych) In three sections linked without a break but the outer ones sharing common material, this opens with delicate textures and lyrical solo contributions.

Honky Tonk (Blues) A mono-thematic movement, the simple blues melody, heard initially on solo saxophone, finds its way into more involved orchestrations and denser textures until a full tutti rendition is delivered, followed by a swift but exhausted coda.

Pecan Harvest (Celebration) A bright and optimistic concluding movement, highly charged and rarely without a change of time signature every bar.

- Program Note by Showa Wind Symphony concert program, 18 July 2015 (WASBE, San Jose, Calif.)


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Ellerby, M. (2012). Cane River Murals [score]. Studio Music Co.: London.
  • Gerhardstein, Ron. "Cane River Murals." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 714-722. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.