Croatan Warrior depicts the fierceness with which the Croatan tribe defended themselves. Beginning with a distant drum, a peaceful pentatonic melody is presented by the fulte. The peaceful music gives way to a much more driving, angry tone and slowly builds to a victorious climax, which provides an opportunity for every section to play something fun and challenging.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 2.5 | Duration: 3:30
Oboe [optional Flute 2]
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
Timpani [2 drums]
Xylophone & Chimes
Snare Drum & Bass Drum
Croatan Warrior was composed for my friends in Carteret County who, each year, put together an outstanding middle school all-county band. In writing this piece, I took in the proximity of their schools to the Atlantic Ocean and the Native Americans who settled near there. Although the Croatans were mostly settled in Dare County, not Carteret, it is still not too far from where these students go to school and I wanted them to think about how the English settlement in Roanoke Island, the Lost Colony, affected the Croatans.
The Croatan could defend themselves well against other natives that were in the area. The chiefs or leaders were highly respected and controlled many towns, each able to muster seven or eight hundred fighting men. The Croatans’ faith in their leaders was not blind; in fact the leaders had to convince followers that action or cause was wise, they did not command. The Natives were also very adept at agriculture and were able to help feed the English when they settled at the Lost Colony, on Roanoke Island. However, they suffered, like most Native Americans at the time, from epidemics such as smallpox brought over from Europe. As a tribe, they were extinct by the early seventeenth century although they may have survived in some form by intermarrying with the settlers from the Lost Colony and/or other tribes.
Croatan Warrior depicts the fierceness with which the Croatan tribe defended themselves when necessary. The composition begins with a soft drum in the distance, followed by a peaceful pentatonic melody in the flute, depicting a quiet day of working crops on the land. Feel free to use recorders at the beginning if you would like. The peaceful music gives way to a much more driving, angry tone and slowly builds to a victorious climax, which includes lots of percussion, fun horn and sax parts, and an opportunity for every section to play something fun and challenging. There is also a percussion soli in the middle of the piece that will make your percussionists very happy. Your band and your audience will love the excitement this piece will bring to your concert!