Foster's America

From Wind Repertory Project
Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster (arr. David Gillingham)

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Cost: Score and Parts - $95.00   |   Score - $25.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam (large)
  • Tom-Toms
  • Temple Blocks
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

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 second movement, Beautiful Dreamer, should be familiar to many. To capture the "dreamy" 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 and the song unfolds. However, there is a rhythmical/metrical 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 a 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.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • David Gillingham website
  • Gillingham, D.; Foster, S. (2003). Foster's America [score]. C. Alan Publications: Greensboro, N.C.