Foster's America

From Wind Repertory Project
David Gillingham

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.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Kyle Glaser, conductor) - 6 November 2022
  • Indiana State University (Terre Haute) Wind Orchestra (Roby George, conductor) - 18 November 2021
  • Taber Community Wind Ensemble (Portland, Ore.) (Gene Burton, conductor) – 16 November 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Symphonic Band (Michael Robinson, conductor) – 27 September 2019
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) – 9 June 2019
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 12 November 2018
  • University of Georgia Concert Winds (Nikk Pilato, conductor) - 16 February 2009
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 29 February 2008
  • VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Charles Menghini, conductor) – 19 December 2003 (2003 Midwest Clinic)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works