Mr.Riley has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana State Teachers College, Indiana, PA and a Master of Music Degree in Music Composition from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. AMERICANA is defined as 'Things American, collectively; any collection of American literary papers, sayings, or other data, especially relating to American history and traditions.' These are essentially contemporary orchestral compositions and are, at times, experimental and dissonant. Track 1 Rushmore 10:57 Track 2 Antietam 4:48 Track 3 View from Hubble 2:59 Track 4 Liberty Statue 4:20 Track 5 Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk 4:31 Track 6 Amber Waves of Grain 5:07 Track 7 Legislative Debate 4:55 Track 8 Prairie Saloon 5:40 Track 9 We The People 4:01 Track 10 Arlington National Cemetery 3:36 Track 11 Five Tribes 10:26 1. Rushmore 10:57 - George Washington represents the struggle for independence, Thomas Jefferson the idea of government by the people. Abraham Lincoln represents equality and the permanent union of the states, and Theodore Roosevelt the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Mount Rushmore to be 'decidedly American in it's conception, magnitude and meaning and is altogether worthy of our country'. The four sections of this composition represent Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt respectively. 2. Antietam 4:48 - More men were killed or wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862, than on any other single day of the Civil War. Federal losses were 12,410, Confederate losses 10,700. Although neither side gained a decisive victory, Lee's failure to carry the war effort effectively into the North caused Great Britain to postpone recognition of the Confederate government. The battle also gave President Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which, on January 1, 1863, declared free all slaves in States still in rebellion against the United States. Now the war had a dual purpose: to preserve the Union and end slavery. The battlefield scene today is peaceful but chilling. 3. View from Hubble 3:59 - Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain images of celestial objects and phenomena in detail never before observed. These include pictures of stars surrounded by dusty disks that might someday evolve into planetary systems, images of galaxies colliding and tearing each other apart, and evidence suggesting that most galaxies have massive black holes in their center. Enjoy the view. 4. Liberty Statue 4:20 - The Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of the United States and an expression of freedom to people throughout the world. The statue shows Liberty as a goddess draped in the graceful folds of a loose robe. In her uplifted right hand, she holds a glowing torch. She wears a crown with seven spikes that stand for the light of liberty shining on the seven seas and seven continents. With her left arm, she cradles a tablet bearing the date of the Declaration of Independence. A chain that represents tyranny (unjust rule) lies broken at her feet. This lady is an inspiration. 5. Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk 4:31 - Wilber and Orville Wright invented and built the first successful airplane. On December 17, 1903, they made the world's first flight in a power-driven, heavier-than-air machine near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. With Orville at the controls, the plane flew 120 feet and was in the air 12 seconds. The brothers made three more flights that day. The longest, by Wilber, was 852 feet in 59 seconds. Despite some factual and accurate stories, the Wright's achievement was practically unknown for five years. Most people at that time remained doubtful about flying machines. In any case, the Wrights preferred to work quietly, perfecting their airplane and developing flight technique. 6. Amber Waves of Grain 5:07 - Katharine Lee Bates wrote the original version of America the Beautiful in 1893. She wrote the 2nd version in 1904. Her final version was written in 1913. O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea! 7. Legislative Debate 4:55 - The Constitution assigns the Senate and House equal responsibility for declaring war, maintaining the armed forces, assessing taxes, borrowing money, and making all laws necessary for the operation of the government. By the 1830s, the Senate had attracted most gifted orators. Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and other towering figures made the old Senate chamber the chief forum for debating the great national issues of the day. In this composition, echoes from the past fill the empty chambers in a dreamlike debate. 8. Prairie Saloon 5:40 - The local saloon was pretty much a standard fixture in every old west town. Only the most established and prosperous saloons in the more populated areas could afford a piano, let alone a piano player and attractive singer. Saloons in the most remote areas inaccessible by railroad likely did not have pianos. In the evening, the strains of fiddles sang through the night air as the cowhands paired up with bar girls for a wild surrealistic night of frontier amusement. 9. We The People 4:01 - Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 10. Arlington National Cemetery 3:36 - Nestled in the lush rolling hills of northern Virginia, the cemetery covers 612 acres and serves as the final resting place for 250,000 American veterans and their families, including two presidents, numerous sports heroes, dozens of famous generals and a handful of astronauts, scientists and entertainers. The land now owned and operated by the U.S. Army once belonged to Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Arlington, in fact, became U.S. property only after the federal government seized it when Lee's wife failed to appear in person to pay $92.07 in taxes. 11. Five Tribes 10:26 - Five Tribes is a term used since the mid-19th century for the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes of east Oklahoma. By 1850 some 60,000 members of these tribes were forced to settle in the Indian Territory under the Removal Act of 1830, which provided that this territory was to be held communally on the condition that the tribes surrendered certain land rights east of the Mississippi River. This five part composition is, I hope, a tribute to them.
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