A delightful quartet in five contrasting movements by Diane Whitacre and premiered at the 2015 NFA convention. Commissioned by Kathy Blocki.
The quartet is based on a story by Rebekah Lane in which four quartet members spend a day visiting the Smithsonian museums in DC and especially see the Dayton C. Miller collection of historic flutes. The story begins just prior to the dream with "Girl Talk.." Next the dream begins with "The Glass Flutes." These glass flutes turn out to be magical-which if first seen in "The Butterfly Room." Next the birds on exhibit come alive with "Taking Flight." Finally, the fun truly ramps up as "The Romping T-Rex." (complete with EASY beat boxing) takes over to bring the dream to a sudden growling end.
An expanded version of the "The Romping T-Rex" is also available for flute choir.
The Dayton Dream Story by Rebekah Lane
buzz filled Emily’s room as her friends Katlyn, Megan, and Hannah snuggled into
their sleeping bags. They whispered and giggled about their day, which had been
filled with wonderful things they’d seen on their field trip.
talked about everything they’d discovered in the Smithsonian. Butterflies,
birds, flutes, and dinosaurs! It took hours of excited chatter, but finally the
girls closed their eyes, and visions of the different exhibits from the museum
danced in their heads.
had all fallen asleep, the flute exhibit they’d seen at the museum filled their
dreams. Three glass flutes and a gold one grabbed their attention. For a
minute, the girls just stared at the beautiful instruments. But then whispering
voices filled their ears.
We long to be played. Pick us up. Please.
youngest, reached out and pulled the green glass flute from where it was
Hannah, the oldest, exclaimed. “You can’t do that! We aren’t allowed to touch
anything in museums.”
want us to! I think we should play a song together.” Katlyn glanced down at her
flute. The green glass was enchanting. She wondered if the sounds it made would
be just as beautiful.
that would be fun.” Emily reached out and brushed her fingers along the gold
flute, and then she picked it up.
a glass flute, transparent and smooth. Hannah picked up the last flute—another
glass one with a diamond pattern on it. She figured it would be fun.
a song they’d been practicing all week. When they were just eight counts in, the
rest of the flutes in the room floated into the air and started playing along.
playing,” Katlyn said, lowering her flute.
and after a few seconds, the flutes that were hovering in the air were
silenced, and they drifted back down to their spots in the exhibit.
stepped toward the next exhibit, and the three other girls followed. Soon they
ended up in a room full of stuffed birds. A sign by the doorway said “extinct.”
When the girls
made into the next room, they started playing their flutes. The ones in the
other exhibit floated into the bird room and started playing, too.
heard a beautiful bird call. She whirled around to find that the birds were
flying! One of them landed on a branch right next to Emily’s shoulder.
carrier pigeon!” Hannah exclaimed.
laughed. “The stuffed birds are flying!” She ran into the center of the room
with the flutes and twirled. The birds chirped happily and hovered around her.
make the exhibits come to life,” Emily said, staring as the birds swooshed
above her head.
make the whole museum come to life!” Megan giggled at the thought. “Come
on—let’s go to the next room!”
The girls stumbled outside into a garden. After
adjusting to the dimness, Hannah gasped. “Oh, butterflies! There are
true! But they weren’t flying. Butterflies were on every plant, flower, and
rock. Some were even on the path. The girls walked slowly, careful not to step
on any of the beautiful butterflies.
sleeping?” Katlyn peered at a blue one, its wings shimmering in the moonlight.
so,” Emily said softly. “Here—let’s play a song and try to wake them up.”
the flutes to their lips and began playing a cheerful song. The flutes that had
followed them joined in, and soon the butterflies groggily started to fly. The
song got even faster, and the butterflies began to dance and flutter.
on Megan’s nose, tickling her cheeks. She giggled.
beautiful,” Katlyn whispered, watching the butterflies’ wings flapping. In the
light, it was as if they were glittering.
For a few
more moments, the girls watched in awe as the butterflies flitted through the
garden. But soon curiosity had them heading toward the next exhibit.
stepped back inside, their flutes still singing, a roar filled the air. A huge
T-rex stomped toward them, his steps shaking the ground. The girls screamed and
hid behind a bush.
“What do we
do?” Katlyn whispered.
shouted, grabbing Megan’s and Katlyn’s hands. Emily went after them, keeping an
eye on the dinosaur. They all ran through trees and plants they’d never seen
exit sign!” Emily exclaimed.
came after them. The girls pushed at the door, but it was stuck! The dinosaur
stopped right in front of them, and they cringed at his nasty breath.Just as
the ginormous dinosaur opened his mouth wide enough to eat them, POOF! He
girls sat up, sleepily rubbing their eyes. It had just been a dream, and now it
was over. Hannah eyed her friends. “I had a dream about all of us.”
I,” Megan said.
here!” Emily sat up straight, eyes wide open. “We were in a museum!”
magical flutes made the exhibits come to life!” Hannah said in an excited
stared at each other in awe until Katlyn said, “Mmm, I smell pancakes.”
girls rushed downstairs, focused on their breakfast. But even
years later, when the girls were all grown up with families and jobs of their
own, they never forgot about their adventure in the Smithsonian with the