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17639517
17639517

Foster's America

By David Gillingham

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Concert band (Flute 1/2, Oboe, Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2/3, Bb Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Saxophone 1/2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Horn 1/2, Bb Trumpet 1, Bb Trumpet 2/3, Trombone 1/2, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion 1 (xylophone, marimba, temple blocks,) - grade 5
Composed by David Gillingham. Score and parts. Duration 10:00. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.06490).

Item Number: CN.06490

Foster's America is a three-movement suite featuring four original songs by American composer, Stephen C. Foster - A Penny for Your Thoughts, Beautiful Dreamer, If You've Only Got a Moustache and Gentle Lena Clare - arranged by the inimitable David Gillingham.

Foster's America is a three-movement suite featuring four original songs by American composer, Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864). Two of the songs are not well known, but certainly bear the characteristics of Foster's melodic, harmonic and rhythmic style. The first movement features the song, A Penny For Your Thoughts. It is cast in a sort of march-like- style and features chamber scoring that is reminiscent of banjo or guitar accompaniments which were popular in Foster's day. The Scottish snap rhythm in the melody is a unique earmark of the catchy melody. The second movement, Beautiful Dreamer should be familiar to many. To capture the dreamy atmosphere, the atmosphere, the movement begins with an introduction in E-flat minor with a flute and clarinet solo in dialogue using motives from the song accompanied by a texture of vibraphone, bells, and marimba to enhance the ambiance. E-flat minor succumbs to E-flat major as the song unfolds. However, there is a rhythmic twist to the presentation in that the melody employs three quarter notes followed by two dotted halves against a consistent pattern of eighths in 6/8 meter instead of the consistent eighth notes of the original version in 9/8 meter. The movement works its way to a climax of the tune in 3/4 meter and ends as dreamily as it began. The third movement casts two songs, If You've Only Got a Moustache and Gentle Lena Clare. The former is sort of a novelty song and is treated in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, while the latter is treated with expressive sweetness as a contrast to the first. Both tunes join together (not quite exactly) followed by a rousing coda.

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