Oregon Trail Suite Played on Hawaii Public Radio

Selections from Dana Mengel's Oregon Trail Suite - which Jackson County Historical Society premiered in May - were aired on Hawaii Public Radio in a show featuring music by American composers and places.

The pieces were highlighted by Julie Anderson on her show Evening Concert. Anderson was in the audience at the National Frontier Trails Museum when seven selections for Mengel's original composition were performed.

Mengel has composed several pieces based on the history of the region including several pieces inspired by the paintings of Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham and his yet unperformed 21-movement Oregon Trail Suite.

This video is the first public performance of seven selections from the suite where Anderson learned about Mengel's new musical work.

 Mengel's music was included in a  documentary film  about George Caleb Bingham produced by Wide Awake Films

Mengel's music was included in a documentary film about George Caleb Bingham produced by Wide Awake Films

The pieces were selected to demonstrate the musical variety and richness of the full composition which is written for a full orchestra of 28 string players (16 violins, 8 violas and four basses) plus percussionists.

The musical selections follow pioneers westward from Independence, across the plans to Oregon. The pieces musically share the arduous experience of traveling 2,000 miles over the great expanse of the continent — an extraordinary overland migration that began in 1843.

More information about Mengel and his history-related composition is available here.