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Flute 1 - 2
Oboe 1

Oboe 2, opt. English Horn

Bassoon 1 - 2

Clarinet in E♭

Clarinet in B♭ 1 - 3

Bass Clarinet in B♭ 

Alto Saxophone 1 - 2
Tenor Saxophone

Baritone Saxophone 

Trumpet in B♭ 1 - 3
Horn in F 1 - 4

Trombone 1 - 2

Bass Trombone



Double Bass

Percussion 1 - 3



Program notes


In the repertoire of concert band and wind ensemble music, the folk song suite holds deep meaning and importance. “Icelandic Folk Song Suite” is my contribution to that legacy in our field and is, very much at its heart, a love letter to it. This work endeavours to new musical work set in this traditional structure to celebrate making music in the concert band and wind ensemble settings.


As folk song suites often use national music as a connecting thread through it (like Vaughn William’s “English Folk Song Suite,” for example), I incorporate traditional Icelandic folk music here, and for two reasons. The first is that there isn’t much Icelandic music in our repertoire and there is room for a meaning contribution there. The second is that Icelandic music is very close to my heart. While my nationality is Canadian, my heritage is Scandinavian – primarily Icelandic, with a dash of Norwegian and Swedish.


I grew up in a small town called Gimli, Manitoba in the prairie region of Canada. During the late nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries, scores of immigrants fled Iceland escaping volcanic eruption, deterioration in the climate and growing conditions, and an epidemic infecting their sheep. Many who chose to leave and many found their way to Canada and established a colony in Manitoba called “New Iceland,” with Gimli as its main settlement – the town where I grew up.


Like Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 1 (published by Grand Mesa Music) all of the melodic material in this suite stems from four Icelandic folk songs. Movement I centers around Krummavísur in the first half, then foreshadows the melody from Á Sprengisandi in the second movement. While the second movement begins with Á Sprengisandi, it weaves all of the folk material together from Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 1 and 2 in a climactic and exciting ending fanfare. While each suite can be played separately, they are optimally designed to be played together, comprising a traditional four-movement structure of Allegro, Largo, Scherzo, then ending with Vivace.


The original folk song on which Movement III is based, Krummavísur is about a raven who scours the earth for food. Every time he finds a good meal, something always gets in his way and he remains hungry for another day.


Á Sprengisandi, whose melody centers the fourth movement, details a man riding his horse down the Sprengisandur trail in Iceland. He implores his steed to ride faster each verse, as the road is dangerous and full of elves.

Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 2 by Keneley Kristofferson (Canada)

  • Composer

    Kenley Kristofferson is a composer for concert band, concert choir, symphony orchestra and video games. Growing up as a euphonium player in Gimli, Manitoba, he later went on to complete his B. Mus and B. Ed degrees from the University of Manitoba and became one of the music teachers at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School in Selkirk, MB. In 2019, he completed his Master of Music in Composition from Brandon University, studying under Dr. T. Patrick Carrabré.


    His work The Meeting Place won the 2016 Canadian Band Association Composition Competition (now the Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition). His music has been recorded by the Arizona State University Wind Orchestra, Barrett Choir, and Choral Union, the University of Northern Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Cleveland Winds, the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble, and the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble.


    He has written commercial work for video game franchises such as Betty Boop, Disney’s DuckTales, KRE-O and Warhammer 40,000. The score for his short film on the early life of astronomer Carl Sagan, Star Stuff, was nominated for Best Original Score in the “Short” category in the 2016 International Sound and Film Music Festival in Croatia.


    He currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


    Learn more about Keneley Kristofferson

  • Grade

    3 - 4

  • Duration


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