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Oboe in Appalachia: Coal Trails on Rails
Heather Killmeyer, oboe
The Industrial Revolution in the United States led to an expansion in coal mining and the extension of railways throughout Appalachia. This presentation is the performance of a work for oboe and prerecorded sound reflecting the history, environment, and diverse musical cultures of Appalachia.

Composed by Brian DuFord in 2018, Coal Trails on Rails is an innovative piece featuring a soundtrack incorporating traditional bluegrass and classical instruments with real sound effects of coal and freight trains. After writing the oboe melody and orchestrating the backing track using steel string guitar, banjo, upright bass, and standard orchestral instruments, DuFord incorporated the train sounds to create a cohesive, one-movement work of several short scenes linked by the sound effects. A unique and creative work, Coal Trails on Rails highlights the diversity of musical practices in Appalachia, its unique and varied soundscape, and the historical and cultural experiences of its people.
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