The Houses Stand Not Far Apart


2 Flutes (2nd doubles on Piccolo)

2 Oboes (2nd doubles on English horn)

2 Clarinets (2nd doubles on Bass Clarinet)

2 Bassoons

4 Horns in F

2 Trumpets in C

2 Trombones

Bass Trombone



3 Percussion

(includes vibraphone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, finger cymbals,

suspended cymbals, brake drum, tambourine, snare drum,

tom toms, bass drum, tam tam, 3 gongs) 




Duration: 30 minutes

Programme Notes


Cantata for soprano, baritone, SATB chorus and orchestra

Music by John Estacio

Text by John Murrell

1. The houses stand not far apar

2. They are dancing

3. They are weeping

4. Forgive the years

Program notes

After centuries of struggling and surviving together, it is abundantly clear that humans don’t always get along.  Despite our innate similarities, it is our differences that lead to bombs falling on one another’s houses. John Murrell and John Estacio discussed the words for a new cantata during the spring and summer of 2006 at a time when thousands of people were fleeing bombs in Lebanon, four Canadian soldiers perished in Afghanistan in a single week, and thousands more soldiers and civilians were killed in conflicts worldwide.  Despite several orchestral and choral works, not to mention numerous pop and folk songs pleading for peace, there is still much unrest and instability in our world.  The Houses Stand Not Far Apart can be added to the vast repertoire of artistic works pleading for peace, praying for understanding, and searching for hope. 


Audio Samples



Commissioned by the Canada Council for the

Vancouver Bach Choir,

Richard Eaton Singers,

Grand Philharmonic Choir,

Chorus Niagara


Subsequent Performances

Premiered by the Vancouver Bach Choir, Bruce Pullan conductor,

with Kathryn Domoney, soprano, and Aaron St. Clair Nicholson, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra,

March 15, 2008, Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver B.C.


Premiered by the Richard Eaton Singers, Len Ratzlaff conductor,

with Kathryn Domoney, soprano, Peter McGillivray, baritone, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra,

April 12, 2008, Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, Alberta



 Premiered by the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Howard Dyck conductor, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony,

October 11, 2008, Centre-in-the-Square, Kitchener, Ontario



Premiered by Chorus Niagara, Robert Cooper conductor, and the Talisker Players,

November 1, 2008, Toronto, November 2, 2008, St. Catharines, Ontario


Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Richard Eaton Singers. conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni

January 22, 23, 2010

Edmonton, Alberta




Score/Parts Rental

For more information on score and parts rental for The Houses Stand Not Far Apart, contact John Estacio