The Housatonic near Sandy Hook

for saxophone quartet

Kevin Malone

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for saxophone quartet

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Composer Kevin Malone
Year of Composition 2017
Duration ca.16'
ISMN 9790570682140
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-km1thnsh1


‘The Housatonic near Sandy Hook’ takes its name from the Housatonic River which inspired numerous folk songs in the North East of the USA, and form the small village of Sandy Hook, Connecticut founded in the early 18C. In December 2012, a shooting in it’s elementary school took the lives of 26 people.

Twenty of the victims were children who would not grow up to know the history of the songs and what the river had seen over many centuries. Three folk tunes from New England – ‘The River in the Pines’, ‘Captain Kidd’ and ‘Strawberry Lane’ – infuse this quartet with boisterous schoolyard bravura as well as dirge-like laments. The displacement of the region’s native people was also in mind; these tragedies are not confined to any particular time, place or people.

The first performance was given by the Amsterdam-based Ebonit Saxophone Quartet in the Selmer Concert Hall, Paris on 7th April 2016, followed by performances in Amsterdam and Manchester (UK).

For every war, every shooting and every death, lives of young people are lost, young people who may have never learned these songs, lives which will never know the bittersweet pangs of love as expressed in ‘Strawberry Lane’.