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Roaring Fork


Full Orchestra
String Orchestra
Wind Ensemble
Vocal
Chamber
Solo Instrumental

The Roaring Fork River is a tributary of the Colorado River and is known for its challenging whitewater rafting opportunities. I spent part of the summer of 2010 in Aspen, one of the cities next to which the river flows, and while I did not go rafting, I spent a lot of time admiring the sheer power of the river as I hiked alongside it. This work reflects upon this power as well as the excitement of whitewater rafting. The opening begins with calm waters but with an angular melody over static harmonies. As the momentum builds, the music starts to speed downstream. The angular melody from the opening returns, but with even more breadth. After a reflective moment featuring a solo violin, the music plunges back into the rapids until the end.

This work was commissioned by Ryan Ross and the Tyler Youth Orchestra and premiered on February 27, 2011.
Click here to view a sample of the score.
Duration ca. 6'30"

    Chamber Orchestra version:
  • 2 Flutes, 1 Oboe, 2 Bb Clarinets, 1 Bassoon (or Bass Clarinet)
  • 1 Horn in F, 1 Trumpet in Bb, 1 Trombone, 1 Tuba
  • 1 Percussion (part includes timpani)
  • Harp, Piano (opt.), Strings
    Orchestral instrumentation:
  • 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Bb Clarinets, 2 Bassoons
  • 2 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in Bb, 2 Trombones, 1 Tuba
  • Timpani, 1 Percussion
  • Harp, Piano (opt.), Strings
Percussion required:
4 Tom-toms (low to high), 3 Suspended Cymbals (small, medium, large), Large Rainstick, Tam-tam, Bass Drum.


Listen to a recording of students at the University of Michigan, Elim Chan conducting.


I am currently self-published. To purchase a set of parts of either version or a copy of the score, please use the buttons below. Note that a score is included in each set of parts. Please enter date(s) of performances to accompany part purchases. If you need a quote for a purchase order, please contact me.

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Copyright © by Roger Zare Music, ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.