Veterans Day Special
This week our nation pauses to, as President John F. Kennedy said, “recall the contribution and sacrifice of America’s military veterans and their families.” But a remembrance doesn’t need to be in silence, so at Arizona Encore, we’re proud to dedicate the music in this week’s episode to that purpose.
On the program…
Starting off our program we have a piece that is perhaps, next to our national anthem, our most recognizable piece of American music: Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” performed by instrumentalists of True Concord, the remarkable, Grammy Award-winning music collective from Tucson.
Following that, we move into “Mars, the Bringer of War” from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. The piece is performed by the United States Army Field Band, on stage at the Chandler Center for the Arts, and conducted by Colonel Jim Keene.
Our next piece was written in the same year of 1914 by Holst’s dear friend Ralph Vaughn Williams. “The Lark Ascending” was originally written for violin and piano, but after the war he rewrote it as a romance for violin and orchestra. Performed by ASU violin professor Katherine McLin on the violin, and professor of collaborative piano, Andrew Campbell at the piano.
Closing this special broadcast we will have “Dreams of the Fallen” by Emmy Award winning composer Jake Runestad. “Dreams of the Fallen” is a major composition for solo piano, chorus and orchestra based on experiences of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Runestad wanted to explore a soldier’s emotional response to the experience of war, finding himself drawn into the complexity of both their responses in the field and the ongoing impact of the post-traumatic stress disorder many of them experienced. Turning to the writings of Brian Turner, a former infantryman in both Iraq and Afghanistan who has since become an award-winning poet. Runestad says Turner’s poems cut to the heart of the sights, sounds, smells and emotions of war. The work is a single, continuous movement with four of Brian Turner’s poems making up the text: “Wading Out,” “Here, Bullet,” “Phantom Noise,” and “Sadiq.” Performing “Dreams of the Fallen” are the members of True Concord with their conductor Eric Holtan along with Jeffrey Biegel on Piano.