Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Music of America

We had a music filled day today.  The downtown library's home school program was Music of America.  Followed by the Music Sandwiched In program of Music of Thanksgiving.  Both were a delight.

The home school program focused on patriotic music.  There was a guest musician that played a fife, flute and piccolo.  Mrs. Jean accompanied on a drum and guitar.

The program began with a brief history of why a fife and drum were used in the military.  The Queen of England had been concerned with the British troops not marching in step like other countries military men marched.  She declared that a fifer and drummer should accompany the troops to keep them in step.  Their roll increased from that point.

The fifer held many responsibilities for the troops.  One fifer and one drummer were assigned to every hundred men.  The fifer was the predecessor to the bugler.  His fife would summon the troops to wake, eat, drill, etc. 

The children were delighted at the sound of the fife.  As Mrs. Kaitlin played the fife, the audience was transported back to the revolutionary war.

Mrs. Jean introduced music associated with the War of 1812.  "The Star Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key was written during this time.

She moved along to the American Civil War music.  "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", and (a new one to many) "Goober Peas".  Of course, "Goober Peas" was a hit with the children.  Southern children know or should know that goobers are peanuts.  This staple of the south helped many a southern from starving during the civil war.

Next, the program moved into the music of War World I and War World II.  The children sung "My Country Tis of Thee",  "America the Beautiful", and (a new one to them) "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!"  They listened to Mrs. Kaitlin play a part of John Phillip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever".  Then Mrs. Jean kicked off the swinging "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by the Andrew Sisters.

Mrs. Jean then read of the poem 'Sing, America, Sing' by Gail Brook Burket.  This is such a relevant poem, especially in today's political climate.

Sing, America, Sing!

Take up your harp, America
This is the hour for song.
Let myria-throated harmony
Rise jubilant and strong.

Forward, invincible with song,
Loved homeland of the free.
With mighty steps and mighty songs, 
Achieve your destiny.

A singing nation can prevail
Against the strongest foe.
A singing people marches on, 
Undaunted as they go.

Then sweep the strings with valiant song, 
Let hill and valley ring.
Lift up your hearts and voices, all
America, and sing!

Then we sung along to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA".  Everyone left on a high note!