The Bug 'n' Bear Suite is the most unabashedly autobiographical work in David DeBoor Canfield's entire compositional output. The title derives from the pet names that the composer and his wife call each other (she is the "Bug," he the "Bear".)
Movement 1, "Fanfare," is based entirely on the notes drawn from the initials of Carole Ann Carpenter and David Ellis Canfield (the birth name of the composer).
Movement 2, "Bug 'n' Bear Song," is based on a ditty that Canfield and his wife used to (and occasionally still do) sing to each other. The tune was composd spontaneously by the two of them, singing its phrases in alternation to each other.
Movement 3, "Turnin' 40 Ain't So Bad," is a somber movement, as if to belie its title. The music is based on a Christmas carol, What Do We Celebrate, that Canfield had written shortly before.
The final movement, "Music for a Nuptial Day," is a lively and vigorous work, the longest of the suite, and incorporates the ubiquitous wedding tunes of Wagner and Mendelssohn in humorous ways throughout.
The work is scored for a brass quintet of 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba. Total duration: 10.5 minutes.