YouTube: Araluen (for SATB choir | By Matthew Orlovich.
Performed by: 
The National Youth Choir of Australia, cond. Graeme Morton.

Composer’s Note

Araluen was commissioned in 2000 for performance by St Peter’s Chorale, directed by Graeme Morton. Scored for a cappella SATB choir, the work is a setting of the first verse of Roland Robinson’s poem “Araluen”.

The text of the verse describes the poet’s journey to “Araluen”, a gold-rush shanty town in southern New South Wales, Australia.

A languorous day. The sky without a cloud.
Winding, doubling round, the red-brown road
climbed through sun and bird song-shafted gloom
towards receding smoke haze and grape bloom
mountains. Then, emerged at last, it ran
into a valley drenched by a blazing sun.

Roland Robinson, “ARALUEN” [1st verse], in Selected Poems, North Ryde, NSW, A&R Modern Poets, 1989. p.23-4.

Modulations in music often suggest to me ideas of journeying or of changing gears and I have used a series of modulations throughout my setting of Araluen. I also like to use syncopated rhythms for their ability to energise and move the music along.

I thank Graeme Morton for commissioning the work and HarperCollins Publisher for granting me permission to set Roland Robinson’s text.

Matthew Orlovich,

Some of the Known Performances

Araluen (for a cappella SATB choir) has been performed by many groups, including:

• The Australian Boys Choir & The Vocal Consort, directed by Noel Ancell

• ATV/16-26, directed by Joan Wright

• Brisbane Chamber Choir, directed by Graeme Morton

• Canberra Choral Society, directed by Peter Pocock & Tobias Cole

• Da Capo Singers, directed by Simon Loveless

• National Youth Choir of Australia, directed by Graeme Morton

• Oriana Chorale, directed by Tobias Cole

• St Peters Chorale, directed by Graeme Morton

• The Resonants, directed by Helen Swan

• Trinity Grammar School Chapel Choir

Score Sample

Score sample: Araluen (for a cappella SATB choir, 2000).


Published by Morton Music

For sheet music delivery within Australia, order from:

For sheet music delivery worldwide, order from:

Score Details



a cappella SATB choir

c. 5 minutes

2000: Performed by St Peters Chorale, conducted by Graeme Morton.

Morton Music

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