Vernon Murgatroyd

(b. 23 May 1941, Calgary, Alberta).

Canadian composer of mostly chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed in Canada; he is also active as an organist and pianist.

Mr. Murgatroyd studied clarinet and piano at the University of Alberta, where he received his BMus in piano in 1965. He later earned the equivalent of a master's degree via independent study.

Among his honours are the Red Deer, Alberta Centennial Award (1967), the Provincial Crowsnest Pass Music Award in Composition (1981, for Concert Overture, Op. 83) and the Red Deer and District Allied Arts Council Celebration of the Arts Award (1983, for his work as a composer and performer).

As an organist, he worked at Trinity Chapel in Penhold, Alberta from 1978–91 and has occasionally played at other churches in Alberta since 1991.

As a pianist, he has worked as an accompanist at the Kiwanis Music Festival in Red Deer since 1968.

He taught as an assistant and served as accompanist-in-residence at various schools in Bonnyville, Alberta from 1965–68. He has taught piano privately in Red Deer since 1968. He worked as a band instructor at four schools in Alberta from 1973–78 and as a recorder instructor in Penhold from 1975–78.

His publishers include Alberta Keys Music Publishing and Berandol Music.


E-mail address for consulting scores:



We will not speak of yesterday (text by Judith Linkewich), speaker, piano, Op. 78, 1979


Ode to Tiffany, string orchestra, Op. 47, 1973

Red Deer Overture No. 1, symphonic band, Op. 48, 1973

Trails of Yore, symphonic band, Op. 57, 1973–74

Alberta Nocturne, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, string orchestra, Op. 80, 1979

Entrance Festive, symphonic band, Op. 81, 1980

Memorial, string orchestra, Op. 82, 1980

Red Deer Overture No. 2, symphonic band, Op. 100, 1984

Gloria, brass, Op. 104, 1986 (version of choral work, Op. 104)

Overture, 'Bambi', Op. 110, 1989

Lacombe Centennial Overture (text by Howard Fredeen), mixed chorus ad libitum, symphonic band, Op. 118, 1995–96

A Wordless Requiem in the Manner of a Lullaby, violins in 4 equal groups, cellos in 3 equal groups, Op. 120, 1996

Mountain Eagle flies above weasel-headed log, symphonic band, 2000 (version of work for piano)

Song of the little white lamb to the cherubims, trumpet, string orchestra, Op. 130, 2005


Capriccio, violin, piano, Op. 12, 1963

Andante, oboe, 2 clarinets, violin, Op. 13, 1963

Trio, flute, oboe, bass clarinet/bassoon, Op. 17, 1963

Five Movements, clarinet, piano, Op. 21, 1964

String Quartet, Op. 25, 1964–65 (also version of fourth variation as Trio, violin, cello, piano, 1999)

Twelve-Tone Fantasy, violin, piano, Op. 26, 1965

Seven Movements, clarinet, violin, Op. 27, 1965

Allegro and Largo, clarinet, piano, Op. 14, 1965

Canadiana, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, Op. 29, 1966–67

Rhapsodie, flute, piano, Op. 34a, 1970 (version of work for piano, Op. 34)

Two Pieces, violin, piano, Op. 37, 1971

Three Canons, 2 violins, Op. 40, 1971

Introduction and Allegro, cello, Op. 42, 1971

Impression, string quartet, Op. 51, 1973

Prelude, Arioso and Finale, flute, piano, Op. 53, 1973

A Wordless Song, violin, piano, Op. 58a, 1974 (version of work for piano, Op. 58)

Three Movements, flute, piano, Op. 63, 1977

Suite, cello, piano, Op. 65, 1977

Sarabande, cello, Op. 73, 1978

Two Pieces, flute, Op. 75, 1971–79

A November Sarabande and Gavotte, cello, harpsichord, Op. 74, 1978–79

Prelude and Canon, violin, piano, Op. 15, 1979

Four Pieces, clarinet, piano, Op. 18, 1979

Three Short Pieces, cello, piano, Op. 19, 1979

Concert Overture, trumpet, piano, Op. 83, 1980

Cloud Eleven, flute, oboe, clarinet, 3 trumpets, 5 percussion, Op. 84, 1980

Bonaventure Duos, viola, piano, Op. 93, 1983

Request in the Style of a Minuet, violin, piano, Op. 94, 1983

Four Fragments, French horn, piano, Op. 96, 1984

Leap Year Scherzino, violin, piano, Op. 97, 1984

Elegy, cello, piano, Op. 98, 1984

Oboe solo piece for New Years, oboe, 1985

Little Diversion, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1987 (version of Four Piano Pieces, Op. 106b No. 4)

Two Dialogs, flute, tuba, Op. 107, 1988

5 x 5, cello, piano, Op. 109, 1989

Song for Anthea, violin, piano, 1989 (version of Three Songs, Op. 33 No. 2)

October Birthday Piece, recorder, Op. 112, 1990

Clarinet Solo, clarinet, Op. 112b, 1990

Flute Duet, 2 flutes, Op. 112c, 1990

Glad Day, 2 oboes, English horn, 1990 (version of work for piano)

A Festival Arietta, violin, piano, Op. 113, 1991

Trio, tuba, harp, tubular bells, pelican ad libitum, Op. 119, 1996

A Joyous Etude in 3rds and 4ths, 2 alto saxophones, 1998 (also version for any 2 similar voices/instruments, 1998)

Something Easier for Alto Saxophone Duet, 2 alto saxophones, 1998

Cherry Pie Trio with Little Brown Plate, 2 violins, piano, 1999

Piece for Solo Violin (after the rhythm of a Boccherini minuet), violin, 2000

Trio (in memory of Sibelius), violin, cello, piano, 2000

Four 'Treatments' (on a theme from Alban Berg's 'Der Wein'), violin, piano, 2001

'Song of Comfort' at 14 and 7, flute, piano, 2001

Theme and Seven 'Treatments' on the Hymn 'For Thy Gifts of Countless Worth', any keyboard instrument, 5 handbells, 2001

Tune for a very distant relative, violin, piano, 2001

Piece for Harp, harp, Op. 123, 2002

A coastal meditation, violin, Op. 126, 2005

DUO, violin, piano, Op. 127, 2005

The Nightingale Farewell, violin, Op. 129, 2005

Little Hamster 'Oreo', violin, 2005


Soldiers of the King (text by Daniel Webster Whittle), children's chorus, organ, 1961

The Apostles' Creed, mixed chorus, organ, Op. 8, 1962

Trails of Yore (text by Henry Stelfox), mixed chorus, piano, 1964

Five Songs (text by Henry Stelfox), mixed chorus, piano, Op. 22, 1964

Christmas Chorales (texts by John Cawood, Ludvig Mathias Lindeman), mixed chorus, Op. 23, 1964–67

The Flight of the Lark (text by William Wordsworth), mixed chorus, string orchestra, 1968

Character of a Happy Life, mixed chorus, 1968 (version of vocal work)

The Gentle Beasts, The Stable (Christmas chorales, texts from a Christmas carol from Slovakia [translated by Sorche Nic Leodhas], a Christmas card), mixed chorus, 1970–71

Hymn to the Seasons (text by Peter Chabanowich), soloists, speaker, mixed chorus, organ, orchestra, Op. 38, 1970–71

The Christmas Bell (This Wondrous Child) (text by M. A. Jack), children's chorus, piano/organ, 1971

A Children's Christmas Song (Santa and the Snowbird) (text by the composer), children's chorus, 1973

Montfort est Saint (text by St. Louis de Montfort), mixed chorus, organ ad libitum, Op. 54, 1973

Quatre Cantiques Eucharistiques (text by St. Louis de Montfort), mixed chorus, Op. 55, 1973

In Search of God (text by Hildegard Grutter), mixed chorus, piano, Op. 60, 1975

Three Unaccompanied Choruses (text by William Butler Yeats), mixed chorus, Op. 67, 1978

Snowflakes (text by the composer), mixed chorus, 1978

Joy (text by Ralph S. Cushman), mixed chorus, 1978

Through the Year (text by Julian S. Cutler), mixed chorus, organ, 1978

The Call of the Northwest (text by Henry Stelfox), mixed chorus, piano, Op. 76, 1979

Three Alberta Sketches (texts by Betty Dyck, E. Stewart-Richmond, Henry Stelfox), mixed chorus, Op. 77, 1979 (also version of one section, The Bald Prairie [text by Henry Stelfox], for female chorus, 1989)

Knowing, congregational chorus, 1981

Four Songs of Praise (text by Sydney Bell), mixed chorus, 1983

Four Verses (text by Ernie Siemens), congregational chorus, 1986

Gloria, mixed chorus, Op. 104, 1986 (also version for brass)

Hope Determined, Sing Alberta! (text by Janet Panuska), mixed chorus, 1990

There is a heaven for volunteers (text from The Flash), mixed chorus, string orchestra, Op. 114, 1992

The Red Deer Fair Song (text by James K. Summers), mixed chorus, piano, 1994

Psalm 18:2, mixed chorus, 1996

A 69 Arrangement of Happy Birthday (for the 69th birthday of James K. Summers), mixed chorus, 1999

Peace Is Flowing like a River (text from a traditional source), mixed chorus, piano, 2000

Haida (Hebrew song), mixed chorus, piano, 2000

And when I saw Him (text from the Book of Revelation), mixed chorus, 2000

Something nothing but a gibbon could do (text by the composer), mixed chorus, 2000

Hymn to Joy, mixed chorus, 2001


It's never half enough (text by the composer), any voice, piano, 1961

Four Songs (texts by Leslie Coulson, Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth), soprano, piano, Op. 6, 1962

Twilight Suggestions (text by E. C. P. Jansen), soprano, piano, Op. 11, 1963

Three Songs on Friendship (texts by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sir Winston Churchill), soprano, piano, Op. 20, 1964

Character of a Happy Life (text by Sir Henry Wotton), any voice, 1968 (also version for mixed chorus)

Three Songs (text by Peter Chabanowich), soprano, piano, Op. 31, 1969

Three Songs (text by Peter Chabanowich), soprano, piano, Op. 33, 1969 (also version of No. 2 as Song for Anthea, violin, piano)

I wandered lonely as a cloud (text by William Wordsworth), soprano, piano, Op. 36, 1970

Five Songs (text by Peter Chabanowich), soprano, speaker, flute, piano, Op. 39, 1970–71

Rowena, soprano, flute, harp, string orchestra, Op. 43, 1971

Three Songs, soprano, piano, Op. 44, 1971

The Candle in the Night (text by Judy Harvie-Reynard), soprano, piano, Op. 52, 1973

Early the Robin (Melodic Fragment) (text from a plaque given to the composer by Florette C. Martin), soprano, piano, 1976

If (text from a plaque given to the composer by Florette C. Martin), soprano, piano, Op. 64, 1977

Of Thirteen Years Last May (text by the composer), tenor, piano, Op. 71, 1978

The Brooke Song (text by the composer), tenor, piano, Op. 71a, 1978

Two Songs of Young Years (texts by Emily Carey Alleman, John Greenleaf Whittier), tenor, piano, Op. 79, 1979

Six Songs (texts by John Drescher, Ida Norton Munson, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Judy Harvie-Reynard), any voice, piano, Op. 62, 1968–80

Kaniksu, any voice, small orchestra, Op. 88, 1981–82

Two Songs (texts by MacDonald Coleman, John Gillespie Magee, Jr.), tenor, piano, Op. 103, 1985

Three Songs (text by Harold Byron Ricker), tenor, piano, Op. 105, 1986

There are only lingering moments... (text by Judy Harvie-Reynard), mezzo-soprano, flute, harp, celesta, 1986

Four Songs (texts by Wilfrid Thorley, Erma C. Peel, other poets), any voice, piano, Op. 106a, 1987

Three Songs (texts by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the Book of Luke), soprano, piano, Op. 108, 1988

Song from the Novel (text by Pauline Gedge), soprano, piano, 1990

The Village of St. Bernadette (text by Eula Parker), any voice, piano, 1993

Five Green Pears (text by the composer), any voice, 1994

Red Deer Lights, HiI'm from Red Deer (text by James K. Summers), bass, piano, 1996

The Dream-Gopher Song (text by the composer), any voice, piano, 1998

A Sixty-measure Vocalise, any voice, piano, 1999

Mountain Eagle flies above weasel-headed log, any voice, piano, 2000 (version of work for piano)

The Robin, any voice, piano, 2000

Our world is young and of a measure passing bound. Infinite are the heights to climb, the depths to sound (text from an unidentified source), any voice, piano, 2001

We brought the summer with us, any voice, piano, Op. 124, 2002

Gull Lake, ABValley Park Manor (text by James K. Summers), any voice, piano, 2005

To many the roseNever will I say 'Be Mine' (text by the composer), any voice, piano, 2005

Angela (text by P. M. Akins), any voice, piano, 2005

Song of the bride in the Morning (text by P. M. Akins), any voice, piano, 2005


The Quarter Road, c. 1960

Four Nature Pieces, Op. 1, 1961

Six Idylls, Op. 2, 1961

Valsette and Polka, Op. 7, 1962 (also longer version as Valsette, 1990)

Addition to an already existing work, 2 pianos, 1963 (second pianist plays a Sonata in la maggiore by Domenico Scarlatti)

Two Pieces, 2 pianos, Op. 4, 1963

Eight Short Pieces, Op. 16, 1963

Four Pieces in White, Op. 3, 1965

Suite pour le piano, Op. 5, 1966

A peaceful moment in a sunny upstairs room at Lacasses, Bonnyville, where I lived for three years, 1966–68

Jeux d'Enfants, piano 4 hands, 1968

Three Canadian Scenes, Op. 24, 1966–69

Fantasy, 'Farewell', Op. 32, 1969

Rhapsodie, Op. 34, 1970 (also version for flute, piano, Op. 34a)

Five Pieces, Op. 35, 1970

Incantation and Danse FrénétiqueMeditation and Redemption Chorale, Op. 41, 1971

The Shining Light, Op. 45, 1971

Autumn Rites III, Op. 49, 1972

Sonata No. 1, Op. 50, 1972

Birthday Piece, Op. 56, 1973

A Wordless Song, Op. 58, 1974 (also version for violin, piano, Op. 58a)

County of Beaver Sketches, Op. 46, 1974

Two Pieces in A minor, Op. 59, 1975

Souvenir Theme and Variations Novelette, Op. 61, 1975–76

Sonata No. 2, Op. 66, 1977

Sonata No. 3, Op. 68, 1978

Sonata No. 4, Op. 69, 1978

Souvenir-Mémoire, Op. 70, 1978

Four Pieces, Op. 72, 1978

Three Pieces, Op. 9, 1979

Moment Musical with Schubert and Strauss, 1979

Three Pieces, Op. 10, 1979

Sonata No. 5, Op. 85, 1980

Sonata No. 6, Op. 86, 1980

Sonata No. 7, Op. 89, 1981

Sonata No. 8, Op. 90, 1982

Sonata No. 9, Op. 91, 1982

Sonata No. 10, Op. 92, 1982

Seven Souvenirs, Op. 87, 1980–83

Three Piano Pieces, Op. 95, 1983

Three Visions, Op. 99, 1984

Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 101, 1985

Elegy in Commemoration of Berg Centenary, Op. 30, 1985

Four Piano Pieces, Op. 106b, 1984–87 (one section may be performed separately: Winter Walk, 1984; also version of No. 4 as Little Diversion, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon)

Five Piano Pieces, Op. 106c, 1987

The Demise of Lake DemayPiano 11Piano 69, Op. 111, 1990

Meditation on a Theme of Borodin, 1990

Glad Day, 1990 (also version for 2 oboes, English horn)

Piano Piece based on the 'Gloria' from Liszt's 'Missa Choralis', Op. 115, 1994

Piece for Annette Bradley's Duet Pupils, 2 pianos, 1995

Five Piano Pieces, Op. 117, 1994–98

Thoughts of a non-Eleventh Sonata remembered, 1999

Two Hogsheds in the Sunset, 1999

Petirrojo-Pettirosso (The SpanishItalian Robin), 1999

Red Deer FogNovember 17, 1999, 1999

A Final Piece before the Millennium Dawns, 1999

Mountain Eagle flies above weasel-headed log (3 versions of same work), 2000 (also versions for symphonic band; any voice, piano)

In the Jungles of Kalimantan, 2000

Piano Piece based on the letters of the name Helga (in memory of Max Bruch), 2000

Piece in Memory of Keith Mann, 2001

At Bower Ponds, 2001

24 Treatments on seven notes from the Hymn 'For Thy Gifts of Countless Worth', 2001

Meditation, 'The Light of the Sun', Op. 121, 2001

Four Interruptus Portraits, Op. 122, 2001

after the painting by RenoirTwo young girls at the piano, piano 4 hands, 2005

Eight Piano Pieces, Op. 125, 2005

Variations on 'Sancta Lucia', Op. 128, 2005

Scooter the Squirrel, 2005

The Moose Cottage, 2005

The Kangaphant & the Muleagle, 2005


Meditation on a Gregorian Theme, Op. 28, 1966

Dedication Piece, Op. 101, 1984


Three Alberta Sketches, Op. 77. Provincial Honour Choir (Fantasy: FS23575, 1979) (LP)

Clarinet Solo, Op. 112b. Daniel Sutherland, clarinet (CLEF Records: 97002-2, 1997)

Meditation on a Gregorian Theme, Op. 28. Stillman Matheson, organ (Eclectra: 2063, 2003)