The Music of Langston Hughes

Dreams – 3-Part Mixed

$2.35

Product Description

Dreams

Discovery Choral

  •  Discovery Choral
  • 3-Part Mixed
  •  Lon Beery, Langston Hughes

This popular Langston Hughes poem has been imaginatively set for young choral ensembles by Lon Beery. An excellent 3-part mixed selection, it also includes an optional baritone part for young men whose voices have dropped, allowing the choral director to adjust the arrangemnet to fit the needs of the choir. Gentle flute obbligato. Available: 3-Part Mixed. Performance Time: Approx. 2:50.

About Langston Hughes Poem “Dreams”

Langston Hughes’ poem “Dreams” is a short and powerful piece that explores the theme of dreams and their significance in the human experience. The poem was first published in 1926 as part of Hughes’ collection “The Weary Blues” and has since become one of his most famous works.

“Dreams” consists of just two stanzas, each with a distinct message. Here is a breakdown of the poem:

Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.

In these lines, Hughes encourages the reader to cherish and hold on to their dreams. Dreams, in this context, represent our hopes, ambitions, and aspirations. Hughes suggests that dreams are like an essential lifeline. They give us purpose and direction, much like a bird needs its wings to fly. Without dreams, life becomes directionless and unfulfilling, akin to a bird with broken wings unable to soar.

Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.

In the second stanza, Hughes further emphasizes the importance of dreams by contrasting them with the desolation of a barren, snow-covered field. When dreams are lost or abandoned, life becomes cold and unproductive, much like a field that cannot yield crops due to the freezing snow. The imagery of a barren field covered in snow represents a life devoid of purpose and potential.

In summary, “Dreams” by Langston Hughes underscores the vital role that dreams play in our lives. It urges us to hold onto our dreams, as they provide us with motivation, hope, and a sense of purpose. Without dreams, life can feel empty and unfulfilled, like a bird with broken wings or a barren field covered in snow. This poem serves as a timeless reminder of the significance of nurturing our dreams and using them as guiding lights in our journey through life.

Who Was Langston Hughes & Why Was He Important?

Langston Hughes Biography:

Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was a highly influential American poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and social activist. He is widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural and artistic movement that took place during the 1920s in Harlem, New York City. Hughes’ life and work reflect the spirit of this era and his contributions to American literature and civil rights activism remain significant.

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement that emerged in the early 20th century, primarily during the 1920s and 1930s. It was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, which was a hub for African American culture and creativity at the time. The movement encompassed various art forms, including literature, music, visual arts, dance, and theater.

The Harlem Renaissance represented a flourishing of African American culture and a renaissance of racial pride and identity. It was a response to the harsh realities of racial discrimination and segregation in the United States. Artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance sought to challenge stereotypes and celebrate the rich heritage and creativity of Black Americans.

Langston Hughes’ Role in the Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes played a pivotal role in the Harlem Renaissance for several reasons:

1. Innovative Poetry – Hughes was known for his innovative style of poetry. He used everyday language, jazz rhythms, and a strong sense of African American vernacular in his work. His poems often celebrated the beauty of ordinary life and the struggles of Black people in America.

2. Cultural Themes – Hughes’ poetry and writings explored themes of racial identity, heritage, and the experiences of African Americans. He addressed the complexities of the African American experience in a way that resonated with both Black and white audiences.

3. Social Commentary – Beyond his creative work, Hughes was a social activist who used his writing to advocate for racial equality and social justice. His poems often raised awareness about the challenges faced by African Americans and called for change.

4. Popularizing Jazz Poetry – Hughes is credited with popularizing the concept of jazz poetry, which blended the rhythms and improvisational spirit of jazz music with poetic expression. This innovative approach had a significant impact on American poetry and the arts.

5. Encouraging Black Writers –  Hughes actively encouraged and supported other Black writers and artists during the Harlem Renaissance. He served as a mentor and inspiration to many emerging talents.

6. Legacy – Hughes’ contributions to literature and civil rights activism left a lasting legacy. His works continue to be studied, celebrated, and admired for their artistic brilliance and their contribution to the ongoing conversation about race and identity in America.

In conclusion, Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, using his poetry and writings to capture the spirit of the era and advocate for racial equality. His innovative literary style and his commitment to addressing social issues made him a vital contributor to the cultural and artistic movement that reshaped African American identity and creativity during the early 20th century.

A Little About Dr. Lon Beery

Dr. Lon Beery, a distinguished figure in the field of vocal music education, currently serves as the Chorus Director at Spry Middle School in the charming town of Webster, New York. With a career spanning both academia and the public school system, Dr. Beery’s passion for nurturing young musical talent has left an indelible mark on the world of choral music.

Before returning to the dynamic environment of public school teaching, Dr. Beery held the esteemed position of Assistant Professor of Music Education at Syracuse University. His academic prowess extended to the Eastman School of Music, where he imparted his wisdom in the realm of Choral Arranging. Throughout his illustrious career, he has frequently been called upon as a guest choral conductor, dedicating his talents to the development of middle school choruses, a niche he holds dear to his heart.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field, Dr. Beery was bestowed with the prestigious title of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Choral Music Educator of the Year in 2009, a testament to his dedication and impact. Moreover, in January 2013, he had the distinct honor of headlining the Michigan Music Conference as the vocal music luminary. His expertise has also been recognized on a broader scale, as he served as the Eastern Division ACDA Middle School Repertoire and Standards Chair.

Dr. Beery’s commitment to sharing knowledge extends beyond the classroom. He has authored numerous articles that delve into the realms of General Music and Choral Music education, many of which have graced the pages of esteemed publications such as the Music Educators Journal and the Choral Journal. His insights have transcended written words, as he has been a sought-after presenter at state, regional, and national conferences of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

At Spry Middle School, Dr. Beery’s role as chorus director is nothing short of remarkable. He oversees six distinct choruses, collectively comprising an astonishing 500 students, molding their voices into harmonious symphonies of sound. Beyond his teaching, Dr. Beery’s creative talents have shone brightly, with over 50 published choral compositions and arrangements that grace the catalogues of esteemed publishers like Alfred Music and BriLee.

One of his standout compositions, “I Believe,” a TTBB piece, was performed by the U.S Army Chorus at the internment service of President Ronald Reagan in California. This touching tribute stands as a testament to the profound impact of his musical creations. Dr. Beery’s talent and dedication have not gone unnoticed; he has earned several ASCAP Standard Awards for his outstanding compositions.

Dr. Beery’s writing prowess extends to the Choral Journal and the Music Educators Journal, where his articles continue to illuminate the world of music education. His knowledge-sharing journey also persists through his participation as the Middle School Chair for New York ACDA, an organization that benefits greatly from his guidance and leadership.

In summation, Dr. Lon Beery’s journey through the world of music education is nothing short of extraordinary. His multifaceted career has left an indelible mark, not only through his teaching but also through his compositions, articles, and leadership roles. His unwavering commitment to fostering the talents of young musicians and sharing his wisdom with the world continues to inspire and enrich the world of choral music.

Instrumentation 

  • Choral
  • Flute

Product Details

  •  #HL 08602141
  •  073999957402
  •  6.75″
  •  10.5″
  •  12 Pages

Additional information

Catalog #

HL08602141

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The Music of Langston Hughes

Inspired by his messages of justice, freedom, and the hope that a brighter future lies ahead, notable composers and arrangers have beautifully coupled Langston Hughes' passionate words with equally captivating music.

About This Website

This Music of Langston Hughes website has been developed by the Fred Bock Publishing Group.

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