Dreams of America, by Derek Jenkins, was commissioned by the National Youth Brass Band of America. The concept of the ‘American Dream’ is an indelible part of the American psyche. Over time, notions of success, fame, and fortune have become synonymous with this idea. Some have achieved their personal ‘American Dreams’, and yet for others they often remain only a dream.
Dreams of America takes a look at certain, generalised aspects of the ‘American Dream’ and pits them against the harsh realities faced by many, both in the past and present. To heighten these dichotomies, each movement is accompanied by a slideshow of historic and modern images related to the issues at hand.
Movement 1: Yearning to Breathe Free explores the anger, fear, and subjugation that seems rampant in recent years, but has been present throughout the country’s founding.
Movement 2: Take my Stand looks at the role that change, protest, and equality has had and continues to have in our society.
Movement 3: It Beckons and Beckons examines the beauty of nature and our role in preserving and protecting this country’s natural wonders while illustrating the ease of which our environment can be ruined and destroyed.
Movement 4: Sweet Land of Liberty reflects onthe composer’s interpretation at what truly makes the United States of America a great country – the people who call this place home. The patriotic tune America the Beautiful has been woven throughout, in part for its poetic depiction of the American landscape and its call for “brotherhood from sea to shining sea!”