Aurora dances

Derek Charke
Derek Charke
Composition Date: 2000
Duration: 00:12:30
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 3 x Flute
  • 3 x Oboe
  • 3 x Clarinet
  • 3 x Bassoon
  • 3 x Trumpet
  • 3 x Trombone
  • 1 x Tuba
  • 3 x Percussion
  • 1 x Harp
  • 1 x Celeste
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Soprano
  • 1 x Tenor
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
The theme of this piece is the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. My idea was to use the Aurora as the foundation for the structure - a thin line of light that changes, grows, moves in jagged steps across the sky until it suddenly stops. The opening of the composition represents this thin line of light and has many notes but the texture is static This in turn builds to a quasi climax followed by a quiet measured trill section. The winds follow in a jagged harmonized unison while the strings play quickly underneath. There is a return to similar material as the opening but with more movement. This in turn leads to a final dance like section and an abrupt ending as the Aurora dies away. Although the idea and title of this piece is the Aurora Borealis it is not really meant to be programmatic by means of depicting specific events musically, however I hope the overall feeling of the piece might evoke the Northern Lights. A big thanks goes to Rodney Sharman for making this composition and performance possible.

Premiere Information:
Saturday March 16th 2002, Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver; Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Tanya Miller


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1100 C473au
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • April 25, 2008
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (49 p.); 43 cm.
    49 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
    Width: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Orchestra;
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Available Products for this piece:

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Aurora Dances: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Aurora dances by Derek Charke (Score)
Printed on demand
Aurora dances
Library Loan
Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver