The Dayton Dream


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Quartet for 4 C Flutes
Part Number: Dayton-quartet

998 in stock

SKU: Dayton-quartet Categories: ,


A delightful quartet in five contrasting movements by Diane Whitacre and premiered at the 2015 NFA convention.  Commissioned by Kathy Blocki.

See below for video.

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 piece is 7 and a half minutes without the story.

The first flute doubles on piccolo in “The Tramping T-Rex.”

The Dayton Dream Story by Rebekah Lane

An excited 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.

The girls 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.

Once they 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.

Katlyn, the youngest, reached out and pulled the green glass flute from where it was resting.

“Katlyn!” Hannah, the oldest, exclaimed. “You can’t do that! We aren’t allowed to touch anything in museums.”

“But they 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.

“I think that would be fun.” Emily reached out and brushed her fingers along the gold flute, and then she picked it up.

Megan took 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.

They played 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.

“Wait—stop playing,” Katlyn said, lowering her flute.

They did, 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.

Hannah 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.

Soon Megan 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.

“It’s a carrier pigeon!” Hannah exclaimed.

Katlyn 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.

“Our flutes make the exhibits come to life,” Emily said, staring as the birds swooshed above her head.

“We could 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 butterflies everywhere!”

It was 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.

“Are they sleeping?” Katlyn peered at a blue one, its wings shimmering in the moonlight.

“I think so,” Emily said softly. “Here—let’s play a song and try to wake them up.”

They lifted 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.

One landed on Megan’s nose, tickling her cheeks. She giggled.

“They’re 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.

When they 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.

“Run!” Hannah 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 before.

“There’s an exit sign!” Emily exclaimed.

The T-rex 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 disappeared!

All four 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.”

“So did I,” Megan said.

“Same here!” Emily sat up straight, eyes wide open. “We were in a museum!”

“The magical flutes made the exhibits come to life!” Hannah said in an excited whisper.

The girls stared at each other in awe until Katlyn said, “Mmm, I smell pancakes.”

So the 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 magical flutes.

Additional information

Weight 0.9 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 12 in


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