Environmental Education

The Piping Plover Suite Music Education Project

Photo:  Piping Plover in flight, photo (c) Doug Backlund, used with permission.The Delaware Audubon Society is proud to announce the availability of our music and environmental education project to help save the endangered Piping Plover. "The Piping Plover Suite," based on the call of this shy and gentle bird, can become a rallying cry for positive action.

The work was premiered by the Cape Henlopen Community Band, under the direction of Barry Eli, at Coast Day in Lewes, Delaware, on Ocober 3, 2004.

The original project includes a four-minute musical suite for concert band, "The Piping Plover Suite," composed by Scott Roewe. It is accompanied by a teacher's resource guide, with information about the Piping Plover and links to resources. The "Piping Plover Suite" MP3 music file (performed by Scott Roewe), and the teacher's resource guide can be downloaded free. Music directors can order the score and parts for the concert band version below; online payment is available.

With support from the Laffey-McHugh Foundation, Delaware Audubon commissioned Roewe to orchestrate the Suite. A new 10-minute version for symphony orchestra, complete with narration about the endangered bird, is now available. Conductors are able to obtain the score and parts for the symphonic version; contact Delaware Audubon for more information. The MP3 file of the new 10-minute version, also performed by Scott Roewe, is now available from the link below.

The five movements in the Suite include an introduction with a musical interpretation of the Piping Plover's song by the piccolo; a march which is based on the "dance" the bird does near the water; and a "Threat" movement with an ominous sound of man threatening the bird's existence. The fourth movement, "Love Song," shows mankind's (brass) compassion for nature (woodwinds) and the Piping Plover. In the final movement, all these elements blend into a very moving, harmonious sound that brings hope and action to save this endangered species.

This is an interdisiplinary learning project for science, language arts, and performance arts classes. It addresses several of the Delaware Curriculum Standards for grades K-12. Whenever the "Piping Plover Suite" is performed, it should be accompanied by an educational presentation about the environmental threats to the Piping Plover in Delaware and efforts to save the species. Delaware Audubon hopes students will be motivated to create stories, poems, drawings, posters, web sites, brochures, theatrical presentations and/or skits which communicate the plight of the Piping Plover and inspire positive actions.

"The Piping Plover Suite"

Delaware Audubon thanks these sponsors who helped make "The Piping Plover Suite" possible:

  • The Brandywiners Ltd.;
  • Laffey-McHugh Foundation;
  • Delaware State Parks;
  • Delaware Coastal Programs;
  • Delaware Fish and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program;
  • Maryellen Birk of Graphic Design Services