Suite Carroll County

Suite Carroll County

SATB, piano or chamber orchestra: Piccolo/Flute, Clarinet in Bb, C Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Percussion, Strings

  I. The Algonquin Mill, 2:23
II. One Shining Purple-Iris Day 3:05
III. The Elderberry Line, 2:05
IV. The Fourth of July, 2:54

Text, Mona Lyn Reese, Thomas Hassing, June Gilbaugh
Publisher: Reese & Hassing Music


This piece celebrates rural life. Individual movements may be performed separately. Suite Carroll County was one of the original Continental Harmony commissions that linked composers and communities to celebrate the millennium. The sponsors provided assistance for small to mid-size organizations to commission a new piece for their group. One organization in each state received a grant. Reese was selected by the Carroll County Arts organization to write a piece for the Carroll County Chorale and Orchestra.

Program Notes:

I. The Algonquin Mill
Text, public domain
The Algonquin Mill near Carrollton, Ohio, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites. It was operated commercially from 1815 until 1969 when it was purchased and restored by the Carroll County Historical Society. The historical society continues to mill wheat, buckwheat, and corn in the old traditions. In The Algonquin Mill, a miller sings of his work and his love for the mill. The lilting waltz tempo imitates the roll of the mill. The round near the end of the work travels into remote keys.

II. One Shining Purple-Iris Day
Text, June Gilbaugh (1923-2001)
Award-winning poet, June Gilbaugh, a long-time resident of Carroll County wrote the text for this piece. The poet reflects on a black and white photograph of her childhood home at the end of the depression. The piece is contemplative and reflective. Parallel and quartal harmony intensify the dream-like quality of the music.

III. The Elderberry Line
Text by Thomas A. Hassing
The railroad that served Carroll County Ohio began operating in the early 1800s.The Elderberry Line got its nickname in the 1890s because of the plentiful elderberry bushes that grow along the tracks. In the early days, the train went so slowly, people claimed you get off and pick enough elderberries so you could make a pie when you got home.
In this piece, a family takes a ride on the historic Elderberry Line. The father and grandfather encourage the children to find elderberries along the tracks. If they find them, the mother and grandmother promise to make a pie when they get home.

IV. The Fourth of July
Text: Mona Lyn Reese
Everyone loves the Fourth of July picnic and fireworks. This piece is a spirited, patriotic Bluegrass song that evokes the holiday.