I Dream A World

SATB with Piano, Viola, and Cello

Available for purchase through JWPepper:

Available for purchase through Walton Music:


The Text

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn, 
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom's way, 
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day. 
A world I dream where black or white, 
Whatever race you be, 
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free, 
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl, 
Attends the needs of all mankind- 
Of such I dream, my world!


About this Work

"With Langston Hughes' famous poetry at the forefront, the composer has created a gorgeous and tender work that truly brings light to a darkened world. The piece was composed as a memorial to a family, and the instrumentation and style were inspired by their lives. The poem heralds equality, empathy and kindness, and the emotive setting fits seamlessly with that theme. The memorable melody and expertly crafted piano accompaniment and instrumental lines for viola and cello will stick with your singers, being a lifelong lesson that will come back to them in difficult times."


Here is the description found in the score:

   "I Dream A World was commissioned by the Cedar Falls Community School District vocal music staff (K-12). Written in memory of Benjamin, Charlie, and Bailey Bartlett, the piece serves as a testament to the goodwill and altruistic nature of the Bartlett family, specifically Ben and his work as an elementary vocal music teacher at Cedar Heights Elementary School. In my brief time spent with Ben, I came to know his work as exemplary. He was compassionate, resourceful, and above all, inspired young people to sing with hearts and voices as one.  Langston Hughes’ lauded poetry beautifully expresses his desire for equality and equity in our increasingly complex world. I chose to set the text as it is akin to the type of father, educator, and human being Ben was. He demonstrated kindness towards all those whose paths he crossed. He cared deeply about his family, his students, and music. The additional instrumentation represents the instruments that Ben and his children played, Ben (piano), Charlie (cello), Riley (viola).  

May this piece bring a light in the darkness that so often permeates our lives. Encourage your singers to reflect on why it was that Hughes wrote such meaningful and pertinent poetry. Above all, I hope that this piece inspires your students to be kinder, more gracious, and empathetic towards one another. Thank you."