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Cuba on Cuba

for orchestra and sistema youth orchestra

Year:  2019   ·  Duration:  5m
Instrumentation:  2*111; 1221; timp., 5 perc.; pno; strings (snare drum, tenor drum, triangle, bass drum, sus. cymbal, cabasa, guiro, cowbell)

Year:  2019
Duration:  5m
Instrumentation  2*111; 1221; timp., 5 perc....

Composer:   Claire Scholes

Films, Audio & Samples

Claire Scholes: Cuba on Cub...

Embedded video
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Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-2, 5-6, 9-10, and 16-17 of score

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Cuba on Cuba is a piece written to provide an opportunity for Arohanui Strings to play independently alongside the professional musicians of Orchestra Wellington. I wanted the piece to be ‘children-lead’ as much as possible, so that musical ideas would be presented by the children and taken up and enhanced by the adult musicians.

I flew down from Auckland to visit Arohanui Strings for the first time in early February 2019, and was immediately impressed by their musicianship, technical skill, and positive work ethic. I was also made to feel very welcome by Jane Young and the tutors, and felt encouraged to write something fairly grunty for the group.

My stepson Harry has moved to Wellington to study jazz bass at the New Zealand School of Music, and I was aware of the strong programme there which also involves Latin jazz as well as standard swing and be-bop forms. Latin jazz makes use of Afro-Cuban rhythms, and the attraction of these, plus Harry’s talk of Cuba Street as a thriving party zone in Wellington, made Cuba a recurring theme in the planning of the piece. I hope one day Arohanui might be able to play the piece on Cuba Street, so it will truly be Cuba on Cuba!

Commissioned note

Winner of the 2019 SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra

Dedication note

Written for Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings - Sistema Hutt Valley