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American Dances  for String Orchestra

(Live performance by the Houston Chamber Symphony, Michael Lowe, conducting)

I. Movement

(recording not available at this time)

II. Movement III. Movement

A three movement work for string orchestra that fuses American vernacular styles with virtuoso string playing. Movements can be performed separately. Premiered by the Houston Chamber Symphony in 2006, Michael Lowe, conductor.

Duration: 13'   Parts Rental $350.   Score for Sale $30.


I. Mam-blu (mambo meets the blues)

II. Poly-rock (polyphonic counterpoint meets rock)

III. Blue-bop (bluegrass meets bebop)




(Recording not available at this time. See version for wind ensemble under Wind Ensemble page)


A dark adagio for orchestra featuring off-stage flugelhorn and percussion. Uses asynchronous events and layers of sound to create an Ivesian world with a numinous effect. Also available for wind ensemble.

Duration: 11'   Parts Rental $300.   Score for Sale $25. 


"... utilizes the fullest diversity of the wind and percussion sonorities, yet remains accessible to players and the listener. Syler's innovative writing reflects a dramatic complexity and subtleness rarely experienced in compositions for this medium."

~ Richard Johnson, Conductor




(Due to the American Federation of Musicians rules, the recording of Gearbox is not available.)


An energetic, brassy and lyrical overture-like work that evokes repetitive mechanical sounds and the singing lines that emerge out of them. Develops a simple motive through canon, repetition, counterpoint and lyricism. Originally commissioned and premiered by the San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio, Texas in 2009, James Judd, conducting. In memory of my father Robert Syler (1933-2007) - a lover of cars, driving and all things mechanical.

Duration: 8'    Parts Rental $300.   Score for Sale $25.


"His orchestral work entitled 'Gearbox' is a brilliant showpiece that surges with energy from beginning to end. Throughout the piece, his gift of lyricism within a dramatic framework is apparent to all who listen." 

~ Craig Doolin, San Antonio Symphony Program Notes


"The world premiere of 'Gearbox' for orchestra was a pleasant surprise ... Syler's composition thrilled the audience with a brassy ride in a well-tuned machine."

~ David Hendricks, San Antonio Express News  



Minton's Playhouse  for Sax Quartet and Orchestra

(Recording not available at this time. See version for wind ensemble under Wind Ensemble page)


A one movement concerto grosso for sax quartet and orchestra that explores the connection between the Baroque and bebop jazz. Inspired by the famous 1940's New York jazz club in a "third stream" type setting. No improvisation required. Also available for wind ensemble.

Duration: 10'   Parts Rental $300.   Score for Sale $25.


"What a romp! Any serious conductor who's also a true lover of bebop should know about this work. It's eclectic, but great fun - artistically conceived and skillfully orchestrated."
~ Stephen Squires, Conductor, Chicago College of Performing Arts 


"The audience thoroughly enjoyed the fresh sounds of this piece. Syler has achieved a pleasing marriage of the bebop idiom and the sonic possibilities of the wind band. His use of simultaneous musics is extremely effective."

~ Fred Allen, Director of Bands, Stephen F. Austin State University