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Winter Dreams

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Michael Daugherty

Michael Daugherty

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 8:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Michael Daugherty Music / Bill Holab Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Alto Flute (optional but preferred)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass (optional but preferred)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bell Tree
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Winter Dreams for concert band is a contemporary musical reflection on the creative world of Iowa artist Grant Wood (1891-1942). Composed in memory of my father, Willis Daugherty (1929-2011), the music also reflects on the years when I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the oldest of five sons in the Daugherty family.

I first became aware of Grant Wood when I was a ten-year-old boy enrolled in art classes at the old Cedar Rapids Public Library (now the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art). Prominently displayed in the room where we learned to draw and paint was Grant Wood’s original painting of his mother, entitled "Woman with Plant" (1928). I realized that Grant Wood was everywhere in Cedar Rapids: his paintings and lithographs at the Museum of Art; his farm mural at the old Montrose Hotel; his carved wooden Mourner’s Bench in the principal’s office at McKinley Junior High School; his stained glass Memorial Window at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. I often rode my bicycle past the artist’s studio at 5 Turner Alley, where Grant Wood created his most famous painting, American Gothic (1930).

My father was a fan of Grant Wood’s regionalist art. He was a tour guide at the Grant Wood Studio, and he displayed reproductions of American Gothic along with Stone City (1930) at his home. Much like a character in the background of Grant Wood’s paintings from the 1930s, my father milked the cows and fed the horses every morning on the farm before walking several miles down a desolate gravel road to a one-room country grade school located in Walker, Iowa.

In 2012, I returned to Cedar Rapids to revisit the small towns of eastern Iowa. I drove along the back roads and farms where my father grew up, and where Grant Wood found inspiration for the people and places captured in his art. All the while, I was collecting musical ideas and mental images to create an emotional framework for my composition.

Winter Dreams is inspired by the bleak winter scenes of rural Iowa depicted in Grant Wood’s black and white lithographs of the 1930s, such as “January” and “February.” A haunting melody evokes a cold winter wind whistling Down in the Valley. The title of this movement hearkens back to Jay Sigmund (1885-1937). As an Iowa poet and close friend of Grant Wood, Sigmund was instrumental in persuading Wood to turn his attention from France back to Iowa for artistic inspiration. In a poem entitled Grant Wood, Sigmund describes how “time found a new son / Dreaming on the plain.”

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned and premiered by the North Hills High School (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble, Leonard Lavelle, director, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the North Hills High School Commission Series.


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Jason Gardner, conductor) --18 November 2021
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Concert Winds (Christian Reardon MacLellan, conductor) – 30 January 2019
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 11 February 2018
  • Colorado Wind Ensemble (Littleton) (David Kish, conductor) – 1 December 2017
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) - 9 February 2017 (2017 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony (Nicholas Williams, conductor) – 24 January 2017
  • Atlanta (Ga.) Youth Wind Symphony (Michael Daugherty, conductor) – 17 May 2016
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) – 29 April 2016
  • Iowa State University (Ames) Wind Ensemble (Michael Golemo, conductor) – 26 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)
  • University of North Texas, Denton, Wind Symphony (Kelly Desjardin, conductor) – 19 November 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Michael Daugherty website
  • Popejoy, James. "Winter Dreams." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 650-.660 Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.