Tunnels of Moosejaw
for chamber ensemble

Laura Pettigrew
Composition Date: 2008
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Ethnic woodwind
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Trombone
  • 1 x Timpani
  • 1 x Tape
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
  • 1 x Ethnic bowed strings
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
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Programme Note:
Set in four movements the work is based on the History of Chinese Immigrants - the "Head Tax" and "Chinese Exclusion Act" as it related to Canada between 1885-1924, many who had immigrated to build the railroad. It also takes us back in time to the era of "Prohibition” and the Legend of Al Capone a time of rum running, gambling and speakeasy’s in Moose Jaw. It celebrates the strength of character, pride and culture of Chinese immigrants trying to earn income to pay the Head Tax for themselves and their families which was imposed by the Canadian Government. The work incorporates traditional Chinese instruments with modern orchestral instruments in addition to musical styles, scales and folk melodies known unto the era and the Chinese. In addition the work incorporates a soundscape, one of which an interview with Sam Gee, a gentleman whose father immigrated to Canada and paid the Head Tax.

Premiere Information:
October 16, 2009
Mae Wilson Theater
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
RSO Chamber Ensemble and Chinese Instrumentalists and Dancers.

RSO Chamber Ensemble:
Marie-Noelle Berthelet - Flute
Elizabeth Raum - Oboe
James Fitzpatrick - Clarinet
Alan Denike - Bassoon
Miles Newman - Trumpet
Richard Burdick - French horn
Richard Raum - Trombone
Karen Constant - Violin
Brian Johnson - Violin
Jonathon Ward - Viola
Cameron Lowe - Cello
Curtis Scheschuk - Double Bass
Robert Nicholls - Timpani/Percussion

Chinese Instrumentalists:
Jung Lee - Chinese & Korean Flutes
David Ling - Erhu

Chinese Dancers:
Jennifer and Giselle Yee

Conductor: Victor Sawa


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 P511tu
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • January 4, 2011
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score ([59] p.) ;
    59 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 68
    19 parts ([68] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Instrumentation:
    Chinese/Korean Flute
    Clarinet in A
    Bb Trumpet
    Horn in F
    Tenor Trombone
    1st Violin
    2nd Violin
    Double Bass
    Timpani and assorted Percussion
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Tunnels of Moosejaw for Chamber Ensemble: Score
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Tunnels of Moosejaw for chamber ensemble by Laura Pettigrew (Score)
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