Pecos Bill’s Musical World Premiere — A Rootin’ Tootin’ Concert for Kids

January 31, 2013

Jacobsen Junior Concert Heads for the Wild West

Musical premiere is Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m.

TACOMA, Wash. – Jacobsen Junior has gone West! This winter University of Puget Sound’s annual concert for children will feature the world premiere of Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale of the Wild West. Everyone is welcome to this narrated musical adventure performed by a university student chamber orchestra and two actors.

The Saturday afternoon performance will be held at 3 p.m. on Feb. 16 in Schneebeck Concert Hall. The Jacobsen Junior concert is the eighth organized by Grammy Award nominee Duane Hulbert, Puget Sound’s chair of piano. Ticket information is below.

“We’ve programmed Peter and the Wolf for the past few years, said Hulbert. “This year we wanted to create a fun new piece and feature an American folk hero. Pecos Bill has all the ingredients of a great tale. It’s got adventure, humor, and romance.”

Other works will include Aaron Copland’s classical American delight  Billy the Kid, Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Overture (the theme from The Lone Ranger), William Grant Still’s Suite for Violin and Piano ( 3rd movement), and a brief  excerpt from Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite.

Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale of the Wild West was composed by Hulbert, with a narration written by his wife Judy Carlson Hulbert, a local theater director. Hulbert wrote the piece as part of an artist residency at the 15,000-acre Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming this past summer. A seven-minute, condensed version of Pecos Bill was performed in September 2012 at Puget Sound’s Collage concert. 

According to American folklore, Pecos Bill was born in Texas in the 1830s. He fell out of his family’s covered wagon as a babe and was raised by coyotes. When he discovered he was really a human, he decided to be the best rootin’ tootin’ cowboy in the country. He rode tornadoes, dug the Grand Canyon and Rio Grande, used a rattlesnake for a lasso, and tamed wild horses. Then the beautiful redhead Slue-Foot Sue rode into his life on a catfish, and his life turned upside down.

Just as in Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Francis Poulenc’s Babar, rhythm and musical motifs are used to portray the various characters.

“Pecos Bill has a distinctly American sound,” Hulbert said. “As we drove to Wyoming for the artist residency, I listened to a lot of Copland. We also bought a CD of cowboy music and listened to Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. We wanted to give kids some fun classical music with a story that is lively and humorous.”

The chamber orchestra will be conducted by Puget Sound Director of Bands Gerard Morris. Performers include Duane Hulbert, piano; Jinshil Yi ’14, piano; Grace Youn ’13, violin; a student brass ensemble; and a chamber orchestra of Puget Sound students. Student actor Alex Adams '14 will appear as Pecos Bill and narrate the piece. Keenan Brogdon '16 will play and narrate Billy the Kid. Duane Hulbert will be the master of ceremonies.

FOR TICKETS order online at, or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013 to purchase with a credit card. Admission is $5 for children and young adults ages 5–18, $10 for adults, and $25 for families of four and more. Children under five and University of Puget Sound students with ID enter free. Group ticket rates are available for parties of 10 or more by calling 253.879.3555 in advance. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.

Photos of public domain pictures of Pecos Bill and campus photos of Duane Hulbert can be downloaded from:

Photos on page: Top right Pecos Bill played by Alex Adams '14, with Duane Hulbert at piano; Above left: Alex Adams '14 as Pecos Bill. Above right: Duane Hulbert.

For directions and a map of the
For accessibility information please contact or 253.879.3236

Tweet this: Pecos Bill makes his WORLD musical premiere @univpugetsound. Bring your own tornado, kids! 3 p.m. Sat. Feb. 16

Follow us on Twitter!