Sunday, June 14, 2009

Working My Way Back...

Sunny - Hi 106 Lo 84 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 97 Lo 70 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Isolated Thunderstorms - Hi 83 Lo 63 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: KHAN, composed by Julie Giroux, performed by Lockport Township High School Wind Symphony

Back in April, my grandparents invited Scooter Trash Husband and me to see the Parris Island Marine Band perform at a local high school. It was incredible. It had been a number of years since I had seen the President's Own and Michael's first time... so seeing these fine men and women perform came at the perfect time for me emotionally. To be surrounded in a high school auditorium by veterans was comforting. To listen to patriotic music was reaffirming. This is America... we are Americans... We believe in God, the sanctity of family and our Constitution... no president... no Congress can change that which is in our hearts...

"In addition to maintaining the constant state of musical readiness, characteristics of which Marine Bands are known to keep, the members never lose sight of the fact that they are first and foremost Marines – first and foremost. To live up to this responsibility, the Band participates in field -training exercises approximately four times a year and takes physical fitness tests twice a year, qualify annually in Combat Water Survival, with the M-16A2 Service Rifle, and the M-9 Pistol. The Marine Musician of the 21st Century is as proficient at firing the M-240G Machine Gun as he is at playing his instrument at a military ceremony."

One of the most powerful pieces and my personal favorite of the evening was a composition by Julie Giroux titled Khan.

This is a programmatic work depicting Genghis Khan and his army on the move. The opening theme "Warlord" represents Genghis Khan which is followed by the "Horseback" theme (comprised of an A and B section) starting in measure 22. These 3 musical representations are used throughout the piece creating a musical "campaign" complete with a serene village scene (measures 79-89) just before its decimation. Most of the work is at a brisk tempo combined with energetic rhythms and driving percussion which continuously propel the music urgently forward. Extreme dynamic contrasts throughout the piece contribute to the emotional turbulence. Genghis Khan and his army ended the lives of thousands of people and his "Warlord" theme with great force, ends this work. Read More Here. (You can also listen to a performance of Khan by The Musashino Academia Musicae, Ray E. Cramer conducting.

The only performance I could find on You Tube was by this high school. They aren't quite the Marine Band, however the performance is wonderful. Turn up the volume and let the music flow over you.

Remember, it is Flag Day....

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