Tag Archives: Gettysburg Address

The Civil War after Covid

Battle is joined.

Teachers and re-enactors created a dynamic civics classroom at San Lorenzo Park on May 20th. The students of Chalone Peaks Middle School participated with energy and intelligence. They emerged with experiences they’ll remember their entire lives, lessons about honor, sacrifice and the price of freedom for all.  

We began our day at King City Cemetery by honoring Civil War veterans buried there. Students read “Shiloh”, a great poem by Herman Melville. President Lincoln offered remarks about the difficult, crucial service the soldiers rendered. A rifle volley, a hymn played by Chris Andrew and taps ended our ceremony. We then marched on to battles, seminars and the Gettysburg Address.

Ed Haskell took great photos of the day. Please enjoy his work and the efforts of our young people.

Confederates march
Anxious Confederates
Union soldiers fire.
Cannons fire.
Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth share stories about the lives of slaves.
Lincoln gathers his thoughts before delivering the Gettysburg Address.
The battle continues.
Brother kills brother.
Lincoln’s words uplift.

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Monterey Pops honors vets on Memorial Day

Old friend Dr. Carl Christensen is conductor of the Monterey County Pops. The orchestra is comprised of professionals, but their concerts are free. I was honored to play a small part in their Memorial Day concert on the lawn of the Colton House (City Hall) in Monterey.

Featured artists included Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools conducted by Jim Paoletti; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez and me.

Musical highlights were the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley included A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections were “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is central to my life, to all Americans’ lives. It is somber, sad, cautionary – though filled with our shared aspirations – and true. Reading it aloud – especially when its timeless words are illuminated by great music played by great musicians – can only help heal our nation’s present divisions.

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I get to read Lincoln’s words on Memorial Day!

Here’s the announcement from the Monterey Pops website:

The Monterey City Hall Lawn performance(2 p.m.) will present a program of pops, patriotic, and Americana favorites.  

Featured soloists include Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; narrator, Robert Walton;and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez.

Musical highlights will include the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley includes A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections include “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

https://montereycountypops.org/events/memorial-day-2018/

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The Gettysburg Address – its power grows.

The Monterey Pops performed a great concert at Stanton Theater in King City on November 11th. I was honored to provide narration for one of their pieces – A New Birth of Freedom by Randol Bass. The text? Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I got a lot of help from the Pops, but Lincoln’s words needed no help at all. He made it clear forever what being an American means and requires. Thanks, Abe.

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