The Muleshoe Marathon is a comic ballet that takes place on the West Texas plain just outside the town of Muleshoe. As the sun rises over the plain, animals gather collectively and singly in anticipation of the annual “Muleshoe Marathon,” a race among the armadillos. After they have congregated, the animals entertain themselves by playing cards and betting on the upcoming race. But betting being illegal, the animals frantically disperse when the sheriff (Coyote) arrives. Coyote attempts to apprehend the various culprits, but all evade him and escape except for Jackrabbit. Once Jacrabbit is apprehended, he is placed in jail and becomes very sad, being both homesick and deeply saddened by having been abandoned by all his friends. After Jackrabbit’s solo dance, the other animals return to show their friendship and loyalty to Jackrabbit, and they encourage Coyote to release the captive. Finally being convinced to show him mercy, Coyote releases Jackrabbit, and all the animals (including Coyote) return to their positions to await the armadillo race. At last the race begins as Coyote fires his gun in the air to signal the start of the competition, and the ballet concludes with an orchestrated version of “The Armadillo Races at Victoria, Texas,” originally the final movement of the composer’s first sonatina for violin and piano.
Instrumentation: Full orchestra (Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Oboe, Cor Anglais, 2 Bb Clarinets, Bb Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Horns in F, 2 Bb Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Violins, Violas, Cellos, Basses, Percussion: Timpani, Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Claves, Gong, Triangle, Cymbals, Tambourine, Temple Blocks, Anvil, Xylophone).
Performance time: Approximately 25 minutes.
Audio Files (computer playback)
Sunrise & Gathering of the Animals
The ’Possum Arrives
The Jackrabbit Arrives
The 1st Armadillo Arrives
Playing Cards & Betting Until the Coyote Arrives
The Animals Return/Jackrabbit is Freed/The Armadillo Race
Copyright © 2020 by John Craton
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