Low tide, Aramoana

Choral music

For large SATB choir and small brass ensemble

Text by Cilla McQueen

Low tide, Aramoana was commissioned by the Auckland Choral Society, and first performed by them conducted by Ray Wilson, in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland on 2 August 1982.

About the work

Low tide, Aramoana is a setting of a poem by Cilla McQueen, and is used with her kind permission.

The piece is an evocation of an estuary at the turn of the tide. The poem itself describes Aramoana at the mouth of Otago harbour which was significant at the time because of the threat of the aluminium smelter that, because of the strength of local protest, was in fact not built. For me, however, it was the estuary where the Ruakaka River meets the sea south of Whangarei that was significant.


The work is scored for STAB choir with divisi, and 3 trumpets, 2 trombones and timpani.

The score is notated in C; trumpets may be in C or B flat. Trumpet 1, trombones and timpani form a central ensemble. Trumpets 2 and 3, as well as forming part of the central ensemble, take up initial and final positions remote but equidistant from the central ensemble, but with access to it.

Instrumental lines that are bracketed and asterisked may be omitted — the lines here only give and sustain the vocal pitches.


Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Low tide, Aramoana — SOUNZ