This piece had originally been written as the finale of a suite for North American Native Flute and strings, for which five different composers each wrote a movement.
The suite forms the first of many projects by the Delian Society – an association of composers who reassert the validity of tonal approaches to music in the 21st Century and it was suggested by the North American Native flute player James Pellerite.
Celebration uses four distinct themes and weaves them into a joyful whole. The soloist introduces himself with the traditional call of the Native flute (a repeated minor third phrase), which reappears from time to time in the rest of the piece, and then embarks upon a sort of jig in E flat major in which the beauties of the instrument reveal themselves immediately with the traditional decorations and downward glissandi.
After ruminating on the jig theme for a while, the soloist then brings in his partners, the strings, including a violin soloist, who introduces the third theme of the work in the related key of C minor.
This third tune is based on the old Westron Wynde melody but uses an unusual rhythm (3 3 2) and the excitement gradually begins to mount.
So the two soloists rhapsodise on the various tunes and permutations along with the orchestral strings, mixing the various tunes together.
In due course the fourth theme comes in, and it is quite surprising how it fits in with the E flat major – C minor interplay, since it is merely a 12 tone row. It follows some of the traditions of the 20th Century atonal composers, but, due to the context in which it is set, it takes on a warmth seldom found in atonal music.