Celebration Fanfare was originally commissioned in 2003 by the Oregon Symphony to commemorate two separate occasions that reflect the past and the present: The bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the symphony's transition of Music Directors. The former pays tribute to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the two men who surpassed insurmountable odds to lead the Corps of Discovery through the newly acquired Louisiana Territory in search of a water route to the Pacific Ocean. The latter pays tribute to former Oregon Symphony Music Director James DePriest, and newly appointed Oregon Symphony Music Director Carlos Kalmar.
With the pervasive motif of the numeral two serving as a thread of continuity to these occasions, the melodic and harmonic building blocks of the work are based on the interval of a major 2nd, which represents the two sets of two men on two different journeys. Similarly, the basic rhythmic building block is comprised of two durations - a short duration immediately succeeded by a longer duration. These compositional elements become protracted in the primary melody and countermelodies, but remain unaltered in much of the accompaniment. The work elicits a bold, declamatory style with a determined energy level that, representative of the men and their respective journeys, builds to the end of the work.
The Oregon Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Carlos Kalmar, premiered Celebration Fanfare on November 22, 2003. The work was recorded September 30, 2004 by the Kiev Philharmonic (Robert Ian Winstin, conductor) for Volume 5 of ERMMedia's Masterworks of the New Era series. The symphonic band edition was prepared for and premiered by the University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony (Dr. William Wakefield, director of bands). Many thanks to conducting associate Danh Pham for his efforts in making the band edition come to fruition.