Toward a Dream of Tomorrow

5-minute concert piece that transforms a mysterious four-note motive into a majestic soundscape. Relentless forward motion is powered by a driving ostinato in the keyboard instruments. Great showcase for a large percussion section!

Concert Band | Grade 4 | 5:30

Performance materials available for purchase on J.W. Pepper:

About the piece

As a component of my studies at the University of New Hampshire, I had the opportunity to write something for a nearby school ensemble, specifically the Spaulding High School Concert Band in Rochester. I eagerly attempted to commence this project but quickly encountered writer’s block. The deadline approached for the first playable draft and I still had nothing, so as a last resort I utilized a random number generator to assist in the creation of pitch material. After establishing some simple parameters (non-repeating integers 1-12), I turned the program loose and received the set [1, 10, 6, 4], which presents verbatim as the opening chime figure and subsequently forms the basis of the entire piece. This set (or a variation of it) can be heard at all times, whether in the melody, the bass, or the polyrhythmic ostinato of the mallet percussion.

The title emerged from the collective impressions of the students upon hearing the piece. I had been in communication with Ron Goodwin (one of the directors at Spaulding) throughout the piece’s short development, and I told him of my inability at that point to think of a suitable name (especially considering its completely abstract method of construction). As a solution, he wondered if the students could listen to the Finale playback and record their thoughts, thus enabling them to participate in the creative process. I thought it was a great idea and was excited to see a fairly strong consensus among the responses. Many of the students commented on the piece’s dreamlike nature, as well as its relentless forward motion. These qualities combined with the overall cinematic atmosphere of the piece afforded it the rather lofty title it now bears.

Toward a Dream of Tomorrow was premiered May 19, 2015 by the Spaulding High School Concert Band, Ronald Goodwin conducting.

Request a free score for perusal.