Dream Your Dreams

by Teresa Jennings

While the song "Dream Your Dreams" is meant to be the fourth one in the musical revue Discovery, it is undeniably strong enough to also be used as the closer or finale. In fact, we would go so far as to say that you could use it that way for just about any program, not just this revue. It has a gentle beginning which builds gradually and tastefully throughout to a magnificent and powerful ending. If you wish, switch this piece with the last song of the revue ("An Adventure!") for a different type of end to your program. You will also need to adjust the script to make it work. You could then also use this piece for the bow music, or you could use any of the other pieces in the revue for bows.

Our recording of this song is excellent, as you will hear. Both our orchestra and our vocalists did a fine job. We selected two soloists (Rachel Moody and Holly McDaniel) to perform the duet at the opening of the song. We recommend you do the same, but as always, there are no rules. Perhaps you would prefer to share the lines with more singers, since it goes on for a while. This is also a perfect opportunity for you to ask those older students to help you out. Our soloists were older and it worked out very nicely. At the chorus then, all of the rest of the group joins in (if you want them to).

The second part, even the solo for part 2, is optional. The piece will work very nicely in unison throughout. One option is to let the solos at the beginning be performed as written (as a duet), and then switch to unison chorus for the rest of the song. Or here's an idea: Let your soloists from the beginning sing part 2 the second time when it enters at measure 17 and continue to the end while the rest of the group sings part 1. If you do use part 2 as written, it's okay to use a select group only, or to reinforce it with those wonderfully helpful older singers as mentioned before. Take care to not overwhelm though. Keep the balance between the two parts in mind as you assign and rehearse.

Getting back to that excellent recording - we sincerely hope you use this for your performance. It is filled with great stuff! The soprano saxophone solo is played masterfully by Jim Farrelly, and those amazing drum fills you hear are performed by the incredible Dane Clark. And of course, the winds and strings enter at just the right times for the proper build. This is not something easily accomplished by piano alone. However, having said that, we did write the piano part in such a way that it could be performed live by a decent player. The only catch is that you will need the soprano saxophone solo to be played by a live instrument as well. It is cued on the piano/vocal score in concert pitch. You could use any concert instrument, such as flute or oboe to play this. Or you could transpose it accordingly for an instrument such as soprano saxophone.

The topic of dreams is an abstract one and is not necessarily easy to stage. Indeed, no staging whatsoever is necessary. But if you're inclined to add something to enhance the performance, especially if this is your finale, we have a suggestion or two.

Lighting is always a good tool in a performance. If you are lucky enough to have spotlights or colored lights, bring them out and use them for this song. Spotlight your soloists right off the top. Have them dress in something that sparkles, and really emphasizes the ethereal dreaminess of the setting. A backdrop that glows in the dark a little would be cool. Like that moon and stars idea from earlier. Or maybe some clouds would be more appropriate. Paint them with paint that glows in the dark. Rather than just painting them on the wall behind the performance area, craft some out of cardboard or heavy paper and suspend them with wires from the ceiling. Put a little fan on them so they drift around slowly (not too strong). A bit of sparkle and glitter on them would be nice, too. During the show, turn the lights down low, except for the spots and other alternate lighting. A couple of black lights would really bring out the glowing objects of your set. As the chorus enters and the tune builds, bring the lights up gradually to whatever maximum point you desire for the best effect.

Another performance enhancing idea that is becoming very popular with schools around the country is the use of visual slide shows. Many teachers have put together their own shows using lots of photographs depicting the topics they are singing about. They can then use a slide projector or slide projection software such as Microsoft's PowerPoint® to display their collage of photos and/or other images onto a large screen that the audience can enjoy during the performance. The subject of the images could be anything dreamed about, real or yet to come. The students could dress in costumes and pose for the photos prior to the performance.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.