Grand Canyon Suite

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The Grand Canyon Suite is a suite for orchestra by Ferde Grofé, composed between 1929 and 1931. It was initially titled Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon.

It consists of five movements, each an evocation in tone of a particular scene typical of the Grand Canyon. Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra gave the first public performance of the work, in concert at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago on November 22, 1931.


The movements of the suite are:

I. Sunrise
II. Painted Desert
III. On the Trail
IV. Sunset
V. Cloudburst


Grand Canyon is a 1958 short Walt Disney film in CinemaScope format directed by James Algar. It features color film footage of the Grand Canyon accompanied by the Grand Canyon Suite, though the order of the movements has been somewhat altered. In the manner of Fantasia, there is no story and no dialogue. The film won an Academy Award in 1959 for Best Short Subject.

On The Trail has been used as the soundtrack for the Grand Canyon Diorama on the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad in Disneyland since the diorama's 1958 debut.[1]

On The Trail was the theme music for commercials for Philip Morris cigarettes on US radio and television from 1934 until sometime in the 1960s, accompanied by the voice of Johnny Roventini calling "Call For Philip Morris" in the style of a hotel bellhop paging a customer. This movement is also used extensively in the Bob Clark film "A Christmas Story", with the Celesta solo providing the soundtrack music when Ralphie and his younger brother are seen sleeping and dreaming about Christmas morning.


Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra recorded the movements of the suite in three studio sessions on April 26, April 27, and April 28, 1932 for RCA Victor at their studios in Camden, New Jersey. The suite was released on eight 78 RPM record sides (eight single sided records/four two sided records) in 1932.[2] The movements recorded were "Sunrise", "Painted Desert", "On the Trail", "Sunset", and "Cloudburst".[3]


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