It was a wonderful moment to share the stage with the Musician’s Concert Band on Thursday evening as they gave the debut of “Songs of Soldiers”. I have attempted several times to arrange a work utilizing the Civil War folk song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, but had not been able to complete a setting to my satisfaction. At my wife’s suggestion (an elementary music teacher), I began experimenting partnering that tune with Shule Agrah (“Johnny’s Gone for a Soldier”). At their core – the songs are opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. On one hand the anxiety and fear one feels when a loved one goes off to war is accurately portrayed in Shule Agrah. In “Johnny comes Marching Home”, we hear the joy and relief of their safe return. Although the songs have this stark emotional contrast, they partner well and I was very pleased with the end product. I am thankful for the Musician’s Concert Band and their director Jeff Kroner for letting me have this opportunity with the ensemble (a wonderful group of musicians and people). As many of us begin our Fourth of July celebrations, I hope you all have the opportunity to thank a veteran, thank one who is serving, or thank a family of one who gave all so that we can enjoy freedom on a daily basis. You can check out the recording below courtesy of SoundCloud.
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