To my American compatriots, Happy Independence Day! To everyone else, Happy Fourth of July! Today, we in the US celebrate the founding of the United States of America, so what could be more appropriate than a selection of patriotic music?
America The Beautiful – The National Youth Orchestra, directed by Assistant Director Lee Mills The words were composed by Katherine Lee Bates in 1895, the music by church organist Samuel A. Ward in 1910. A beautiful song that many think should be the national anthem.
The Star Spangled Banner – The National Youthg Orchestra, directed by Director James Ross The National Anthem, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 as “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” The tune is that of “To Anacreon In Heaven,” a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith. This song is played at most sporting events and at sign-on and sign-off, back in the day when radio and televisions stations went off the air instead of playing infomercials all night.
Here are several marches written by John Phillip Sousa, former director of the United States Marine Corps Band (Hohner’s “Marine Band” harmonicas have a picture of Sousa’s band on the box). Sousa is nicknamed “The March King” because he wrote so manty great ones.
The Liberty Bell March – The “President’s Own” United States Marine Corps Band Fans of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will recognize this almost immediately.
Semper Fidelis – The “President’s Own” United States Marine Corps Band “Semper Fidelis” (“Always Faithful”) is the motto of the Marine Corps, and also of the Holton family.
Stars And Stripes Forever – Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for many years, and frequently ended concerts with this tune. At the end of the Pops’ first concert after Fiedler’s death, John Williams, the new director, stepped off the conductor’s podium and the orchestra played this as a tribute to their long-time director. (One of those stories that still chokes me up.)
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for Independence Day, July 4, 2016. Have a safe and happy one!