Stephen Cabell


Stephen Cabell (b. 1984) is a New York-based composer of sonically engaging and arrestingly wrought music that attempts to grab the listener from the very first moments and never lets go. His artistic mission is to write music that can be understood and appreciated by both casual and expert listeners.

River City Fanfare

  • Instrumentation: scored for orchestra 3(III=pic) - - timp.perc (3) - hrp - pno - strings
  • Duration: 6 minutes
  • Completed: 2004


River City Fanfare was commissioned by Nicholas Palmer and the Owensboro Symphony as a concert opener during their 2003-2004 season. As a native of this beautiful city which has given me so much, I wanted to give back what I could through musical poetry. Multiple spellings of Owensboro’s name, the city’s zip codes, and the Ohio River played into how the material was created and manipulated for this piece

The work is constructed in an arch form with five sections. I chose this shape due to the fact that, from above, the Ohio River bends into an inverted arch with the center of the city resting at it’s apex. It is my intention that a journey can be heard, as if the listener is traveling eastward on the Ohio River, through the bend into Owensboro, and departing as Owensboro disappears into the horizon.

The piece is framed by two playful sections that use a kind of musical Morse code representing the different spellings of Owensboro’s name--transitioning from the archaic to the current modern spelling. The cities three zip codes also play a part in these mathematically informed outer sections. Sections two and four are a representation of the majestic Ohio River and the central section represents Owensboro itself.

-Stephen Cabell

 Google Maps: Owensboro, KY

Google Maps: Owensboro, KY

© Copyright 2018 Stephen Cabell