"Russian River" is an original piece for string orchestra. You can see a free video of my family playing this piece at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPM9nQTwFFoIt's. It's level of difficulty is suitable for a junior high orchestra with slurring, 16th note passages and shifting to the 3rd position for the first violin part. This piece is well-loved by my students at school.
The Russian River flows into the Pacific Ocean at Jenner. The cliffs are steep and the area remote. Sea lions bask in the sun on the sand bars, and waves break off in the distance. Russian fur traders had a fort nearby and trapped sea otter a couple centuries ago. Upstream, the river floods and runs through a steep canyon in the redwoods. This piece of music captures the many moods of the Russian River, a place where I spent some time as a young adult.