America By

Composer Erich Stem’s visionary “America By” tour invites orchestras from around the country to commission and perform pieces that express the nuanced attributes of their own town, culture, and people. Stem’s project goal is to create a musical montage that lends listeners a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the United States.

Every commission incorporates a mix of styles representing the varying cultures and history of the region that each orchestra calls home. Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra premiered the first commissioned work of the tour, “Bainbridge,” in February 2014. Stem infused this work with Japanese-American elements to reflect Bainbridge Island’s historical significance as the first implementation site of the Internment Camp Program in the 1940s.

To date, orchestras from across the nation have signed onto the project, including Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, University of Portland Orchestra, and the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra. His project celebrates the unique vision of a living composer and captures the whispering and roaring “sound track” of our nation by people and place.