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The Americans

from Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City

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Note excerpted from Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City.

The second movement takes its title from Beat photographer Robert Frank’s powerful collection, The Americans. In 1955, Frank traveled the country taking extraordinary photos of a nation that is actually many nations. This movement does not “describe” any of the individual photos, but rather is an attempt at an overall musical picture of the paradoxical America Frank saw: diverse, yet uniform; determined, yet lost; sated, yet unsatisfied.

Genres:   Winds

Subgenres:   Large Ensemble


3Fl, 2Ob(2.dbEHn), 2Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, 3Tpt, 4Hn, 2Trb, BTrb, Tba, Cb, Pno

Commissioned by

California State University-Stanislaus – Andrew McMahan/Stuart Sims
Coppell High School – Scott Mason
Drury University – Christopher Koch
Eastern Illinois University – Milton Allen
Flower Mound High School – Rob Myers
Indiana University – Stephen W. Pratt
James Logan High School – Ramiro Barrera
Kurashiki Sakuyo University Wind Philharmony – James Ripley
Kutztown University – Jeremy Justeson
Middle Tennessee State University – Reed Thomas
Mona Shores High School – Jason Boyden
Ridgewood Concert Band – Christian Wilhjelm
St. Charles East High School – Jim Kull
Stephen F. Austin University – Fred Allen
Texas A&M University-Commerce – Phil Clements
Texas State University – Rodney C. Schueller
The Florida State University – Richard Clary
The University of North Carolina-Greensboro – Kevin Geraldi
University of Evansville – Kenneth Steinsultz
University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Carolyn Barber
University of Oklahoma – William K. Wakefield
University of Portland – Patrick Murphy

Consortium organized by: Jeffrey D. Gershman, Indiana University

View Errata Info

(for the SCORE only, to the 8/09 1st Editon)

  • The Flute 2 part is missing from m.4-6. Flute 2’s m.4 is a half rest, eighth rest, dotted quarter E-flat-6 (piano), tied to a whole E-flat-6 in m.5, tied to a dotted quarter E-flat in m.6. It is correct in the part.

Recent Performances

  • October 12, 2018 - Toledo Symphony at St. Wendelin Catholic Church, Fostoria, OH. Conducted by Nadège Foofat.
  • January 23, 2016 - US Army Band at Shenandoah Conservatory. Conducted by Col. Timothy Holtan.