Allan Gilliland | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Allan Gilliland

Allan Gilliland. Composer, arranger, trumpeter, teacher, b Darvel, Scotland 10 May 1965; Honours Diploma in Jazz Studies (Humber) 1985, B MUS (Alberta) 1989, M MUS (Alberta) 1996. Allan Gilliland immigrated to Canada with his family in 1972.

Allan Gilliland

Allan Gilliland. Composer, arranger, trumpeter, teacher, b Darvel, Scotland 10 May 1965; Honours Diploma in Jazz Studies (Humber) 1985, B MUS (Alberta) 1989, M MUS (Alberta) 1996. Allan Gilliland immigrated to Canada with his family in 1972. He studied trumpet with Don Johnson at Humber College, and composition with Violet Archer, Malcolm Forsyth, and Howard Bashaw at the University of Alberta. He first came to prominence upon winning a competition with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) in 1994 for his Trumpet Concerto, which he wrote for high-school friend, trumpeter Jens Lindemann.

Gilliland's reputation grew rapidly, with Lindemann taking the concerto to the US in 1995, the receipt of a commission to write a fanfare for the ESO for the opening of the Winspear Center in 1997, and by being named John Estacio's successor as the ESO's composer-in-residence 1999-2004. During his tenure, Gilliland wrote 11 works for the orchestra including Above the Fold (2004), Loch na Beiste (2001), We Stood Beside Each Other (with choir, 2000), and A Wild Symphonic Ride (with dancers, 2002). He also wrote concertos for violin (2002, rev. 2003), two harps (2002), and clarinet. The latter, Dreaming of the Masters I (2003), is a jazz-influenced concerto for clarinet premiered by James Campbell and reprised by him in 2004 under Bruce Hangen and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Campbell later commissioned Gilliland's Jazz Suite for clarinet and string quartet for the Festival of the Sound in 2005.

Gilliland has written music for a great variety of ensembles including wind bands, jazz bands, choirs, and various chamber groups; he has also written for film. His works have been performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro Canada, the Canadian Brass, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the New York Pops, the Hammerhead Consort, the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, and the brass section of the New York Philharmonic. He collaborated with composer/lyricist Andy Northrup and playwright Marty Chan on the musicals The 7th Circle (2001) and Dead Beat: A Zombie Musical (2003). In 2006 he was commissioned to write a one-act opera for young people, The Hannaraptor (libretto by Val Brandt), for the Calgary Opera Company.

Awards and Appointments

Gilliland is the recipient of several awards including first place in Pro Coro Canada's National Composition Contest for A Capella Choirs (1995) and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival Composers Competition in 2002 for On the Shoulders of Giants (2000). In 2003 he became head of composition at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers.

with Krista Gilliland. "Fordyce Pier," In Tune: Words on Music, Mar-Apr 1994


The 7th Circle. Musical. 2001

Dead Beat: A Zombie Musical. 2003

The Hannaraptor. One-act opera for young people. 2006

On the Shoulders of Giants. 2000. Ms

We Stood Beside Each Other. Orchestra and choir. 2000. Ms

Shadows and Light. 2000. Ms

Loch na Beiste. 2001. Ms

Always Be True. 2002. Ms

A Wild Symphonic Ride. Orchestra and dance. 2002. Ms

Dreaming of the Masters I. 2003. Ms

Above the Fold. 2004. Ms

Alberta Echoes. 2005. Ms

Soloist and Orchestra
Trumpet Concerto. 1993. Ms

Violin Concerto. 2002, rev. 2003. Ms

Gaol's Ruadh Ròs - A Celtic Concerto for Two Harps. 2002. Ms

M'bira. Solo marimba. 1998. Ms

Dreamscapes. Wind ensemble. 2002. Ms

Concerto for Accordion and String Quartet. 2003. Ms

Go Deeply Now Everlasting. Piccolo trumpet, string quartet. 2004. Ms

For 250 Years. Wind ensemble. 2004. Ms

Jazz Suite. Clarinet, string quartet. 2005. Ms

Pulsar. Wind ensemble. 2005. Ms

Inspiration. Wind ensemble. 2006. Ms

The Cloths of Heaven. A capella choir. 1994. Ms

He Tells of Perfect Beauty. A capella choir. 1995. Ms

Beloved be at Peace. A capella choir. 1995. Ms

A la esperanza. Choir, 2 marimbas. 2001. Ms

Blessed. A capella choir. 2002. Ms

Ubi Caritas. Choir, brass quintet, organ. 2003. Ms

Further Reading

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