A Canadian Celebration Overture

Instrumentation: 2.picc.2.2.2./

(harp is optional; alternate parts for 2 percussion)

Originally named A Celebration Overture

Date: 1997

Duration:  9:30


A Canadian Celebration Overture is meant to capture musically the fast-paced energetic and joyful aspects of life in Canada today, with a look back to Canada’s early years through the inclusion of an historic Canadian folk song.

The overture opens with a brief fanfare which is followed by a calm lyrical section, featuring a melodic clarinet solo. The energy continues to build until the music climaxes with a return to the original fanfare material. The clarinet is heard again in a solo cadenza, which leads to the main section, a spirited Allegro. The Allegro’s main theme is first heard in the woodwinds and is then developed symphonically. The music slows and a beautiful flute solo emerges, which is a  Canadian Folk Song from Nova Scotia called Bold Pedlar. This folk song is heard again in the violas, cellos, and bassoons, and finally with the full orchestra. The Allegro section returns and leads into the overture’s conclusion, an exciting coda where the original fanfare returns in a fast-paced flourish. The overture was composed to be tuneful, pleasing and joyful—a symphonic celebration.


A Canadian Celebration Overture was commissioned by the Brantford Symphony in 1997 to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the city of Brantford.


Instrumentation: 2(2=picc).2(2=ehn).1.bcl.2./                                 

Date: 1995

Duration:  6:00

Dance for Orchestra



(2nd flute, English horn, bass clarinet and/or 3rd trumpet are optional; alternate parts for 2 percussion)

Date: 1995

Duration:  5:10


The Composer’s own words best describe this playful work: “Written in the spring of 1995, Dance for Orchestra was composed for the concert stage but could be danced to by ballet or modern dancers. This composition does not seek to imitate a specific type of dance but does feature qualities that can be danced to such as lively and energetic rhythms as well as expressive and flowing melodies.

The music utilizes an ‘arch’ form (ABCBA).  The fast paced A and B sections feature short and repeating motives and jaunty melodies which are contrasted with flowing lines. In the C or middle section, the music slows and relaxes, featuring a solo by the French horn and ending with a clarinet cadenza, which leads the listener back to the faster pace of the B and A sections. The coda completes the dance adventure with a whirling increase of tempo, momentum and energy.”

Mr. Royer’s Dance for Orchestra won First Prize in the Suburban Youth Orchestra Composition Competition and was premiered in Chicago in March 1996.