•   Imagine a Day 

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Imagine a Day... In Lake Country
for Chorus and Orchestra
2019 (21:00 min.)
Lyrics by Robert Barnett

Based on poem by Courtney Bella

2 flute, 2 oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, 2 horn in F, trumpet, trombone, timpani, bass drum, triangle, cymbals, wind chimes, harp, piano, SAB adult chorus, SAB children chorus, strings

Commissioned by

Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra
Roberta Carpenter, Music Director
Oconomowoc Community Choir
Silver Lake Singers
Lynn B. Carstein, Music Director

World Premiere Performance
April 14, 2019 ~ 3:30pm
Oconomowoc Arts Center, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Support provided by Mr. Brad Bella and the Imagine A Day Foundation

Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra Flyer


by Robert Barnet
based on the poem Imagine a Day by Courtney Bella
Original lyrics by Courtney Bella and sung by the children's chorus are in bold.

Imagine a day
When nothing can hurt or scare you
When everything impossible is possible

I remember
Running barefoot...
Wet grass between my toes!
The tug on the line...
the wind fills the sails
the boat tilts
Skittering across the lake!
Take me back

Imagine a day...
When the beating of your heart
and your voice...
...is all you hear.

Yes! All I hear is my voice
and the beat beat beat beat
of my heart.

Imagine a day...
When the twinkling
of the night time stars

I look up
What do I see?
I see stars!
is the only thing visible.
All those stars!
All those colors!

Imagine a day...
When you take a nap

Ohh, how I want to rest!
What a thought
Dreaming about all the good
so much good we forget
Yes we forget
Why don't we see it?
All the good in your life
I want to remember
All the good in your life

Skipping pebbles across the water
When was the last time?
I want to remember
I so want to remember
Blah blah blah blah blah
Music from the band shell
I want to remember
I so want to remember
And hold it close
Music from the band shell
Distant but close

Imagine a day
Yes, Imagine
When the only think you want to do
Is fill an empty page with words
Writing your story

What is my story?
What have I done?
What have I still to do
I live my life
Past forgetting
Past remembering
Every day I live it
Who has time to write it?
So much to tell
so much to remember
so much I want to share

Time, time, where is the time?
Where does it go? the time?
Let me remember
The swimming
The fishing
And picnics
Fourth of July
And sunsets
How the days of summer
How they stretched on and on
Let me remember when
Let me hold them close
Let me never let them go

Imagine a day
What day?
When you become best friends with the moon
The moon?
Sharing its night time splendor
Sharing it with me?

Imagine a day
When all you want to do is wonder and think

Hmm yes...
Wonder and think
What can still be
What is longing to be
Just Imagine
Yes! Imagine
Imagine a day
Imagine a day
Yes! Imagine! Yes! Imagine!

Notes by Lyricist Robert Barnett

The interplay between the adult and youth voices are designed to dramatize how the youthful innocence and embrace of the wondrous in Courtney Bella’s poem engage, revive, and finally restore the faith of the adult voices in their internal childhood that they can turn to for rejuvenation, having lost it in the daily demands of adult life.

The adult voices are drawn to the youthful invitation to “imagine” in the opening stanzas, reviving memories of treasured childhood summers. But as the adult voices are drawn back to their youthful selves, the poem also evokes a sense of regret and guilt as the adult voices awaken to how they have lost touch with the open embrace of life that they once enjoyed when they were young. As they try to regain and hold dear their younger selves through memories of summertime, their self-doubts and the demands of their adult lives remind them how much they have been lost by losing connection with the child within them. Yet even as they struggle with inner turmoil, the youthful voices of Courtney’s concluding stanza reassures and reminds them there is still time for them to “wonder and think” and discover that their child is there within them if only they look and “imagine.”

Rehearsal Midi Renditions