Kids Commute - Summer Listening! Week 5

Jul 16, 2018

This week, we're listening to Aaron Copland's Western Ballet, "Rodeo!"

Giddyup, cowgirls and cowboys! It’s the fifth and final week of the Kids Commute Summer Listening Series! A great summer break isn’t complete without a great soundtrack, so your Kids Commute team has put together five special extended episodes of Kids Commute for you to enjoy. Answer the super-easy Quizlet question at the end of the episode and you’ll receive one of our all-new prizes!

This week’s episode digs deep into Rodeo by American composer Aaron Copland. We’ll teach you about the proper pronunciation of the title in addition to details about his life and what made Aaron Copland one of the most prominent American composers of his time. We’ll also guide you through a musical tour of his career. Rodeo is a ballet originally choreographed by the very famous Agnes de Mille, who was responsible for convincing Mr. Copland to write the orchestral score. As you listen, we’ll give examples of the cowboy songs that Mr. Copland used as inspiration for his composition and give Rodeo its characteristic old west ‘American’ feel.

Kids Commute Summer Listening Week Five
MUSIC: Rodeo
COMPOSER: Aaron Copland
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Aaron Copland/London Philharmonic; , "Ranch House Party," Leonard Slatkin/St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Here's our final Kids Commuter Summer Listening Program! Don't forget - you have until the middle of August to complete all five weeks of the program, answer the Quizlets - and win concert tickets and an invitation to an ice cream party!

Now, get your lasso ready and let's wrangle with Rodeo, by Aaron Copland. Yee-haw!


A documentary about Aaron Copland. Aaron Copland’s remarks on Rodeo begin at 31:33 continue watching the video to see excerpts of Agnes de Mille dance in the ballet!

This is a documentary about Rodeo that shows almost all the scenes from the ballet with Agnes de Mille’s choreography. Please note that it is not the complete ballet, and it was recorded on VHS video tape, so the video quality isn’t what we’re used to today.

Piano Sonata by Aaron Copland

From Leonard Bernstein’s Young Persons Concerts, Aaron Copland conducts the New York Philharmonic performing El Salon Mexico:

The Sydney Camerata Chamber Orchestra performs Appalachian Spring

A scene from The Heiress for which Copland wrote the musical score. Incidentally, the actor Montgomery Clift is playing, "Plaisir d'Amor," ("Pleasure of Love,") a tune used as the basis for Elvis Presley’s, "Can’t Help Falling In Love With You."