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Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail


Duration ~ 16:40

Program Notes:


Each movement represents an important place for both the trail’s historic inhabitants and the settlers who traversed the trail to reach Oregon territory. The music attempts to take the listener back to the landscape itself, and to life prior to and during the pioneers’ cross-country experience.


I.  Me-a-pa-te (Scott’s Bluff) Nebraska: Duration 5:08; Flute, Clarinet, Percussion only. Me-a-pa-te translates as “hill that is hard to go around”.  The  Platte River Valley of Nebraska, with its once-endless prairie grasslands, served as a hunting area and farmlands for thousands of years.

II. Mudza (South Pass) Wyoming:Duration 5:32; Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Percussion. The movement explores the experience and impact of crossing the South Pass for both the indigenous people and the settlers.

III. Hyas Tyee Təmwata(Willamette Falls) Oregon: Duration 6:00; Flute, Clarinet, Cello and Percussion. Prior to the migration  here, this flourished as a major fishery, with a thriving society of people living in semi-permanent villages. The third movement ties together the falls, the traditional importance of the landscape and the excitement of the setters upon their arrival.


    – Christina Rusnak 2018


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