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The South Pass

The South Pass


Duration ~ 13:15

Program Notes:


The South Pass is an isolated saddle, covered in sage and grasses, that straddles the Continental Divide in the midst ofWyoming. A major wildlife migration point across the Rocky Mountains, it has been traversed by people for thousands of years, and is the conduit to all five major pre-Columbian trading centers west of the Mississippi River. Historians speculate that without Euro-Americans’ “discovery” of the South Pass, the Pacific Northwest would likely have been permanently claimed by the British and the southern part of the continent would have remained part of Mexico. The piece focuses on the nexus of the landscape’s meaning, its physical environment, and the human interaction, with that landscape on the long arduous journey, made by    indigenous people and emigrants, westward up to the pass, the respite at the top, and the long descent down to the Green River Basin below.


– Christina Rusnak 2020



Chamber Orchestra

2 (P), 2 (EH), 2 (BsCl), 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, Timp, 3 Percussion, Strings

For Parts Rental contact christina@christinarusnak.com




Black & White Photograph by William Henry Jackson 1870

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