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I Will Dream Beyond the Stars

    (Grade 3/4)

    Duration: ca. 7 minutes
    Composed: 2016

    Programme Note: Inspired by the life and work of Dr. Roberta Bondar, I Will Dream Beyond the Stars is a short fantasy for beginning concert band. As a point of departure, the students were told about some of the extraordinary accomplishments, achievements , and challenges undertaken by Dr. Bondar throughout her career. We noted that after 14 years of public school, she went on to 18 years of university and post-graduate work, earning multiple degrees in a variety of disciplines. Despite this, she still asks herself “what should I do next?” in a world where the majority tend to ask “can I stop now?”

    When asked what aspirations, goals, and dreams, might sound like, the students responded with imagery that was open, clear, soft, and sparkling. When asked what challenges and obstacles might sound like, the students used works like busy, dark, and discordant.

    From this comes a short piece of music that presents a number of musical challenges to the young players. Various ideas are built up in layers which add to the complexity of the sound. In the middle of the piece, there is an offstage trumpet solo which serves to remind us what is possible with hard work and dedication.

    Premiere: First performance by the Putman Public School, Ottawa, June 2016.

    Kelly-Marie Murphy, composer