|Posted by Thomas J. West on November 23, 2013 at 12:30 AM|
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assasination of United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. While I am too young to have experienced this event in person, I understand the gravitas that events like this have on the consciousness of a culture. My first experience with such an event was when the space shuttle Challenger exploded during takeoff. I remember where I was when the mass school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado occurred. And of course, I remember vividly the events of September 11, 2001 when the World Trade towers fell.
To commemorate the day, The United States Marine Band posted this recording of their performance of Robert LoPresti's most well-known work "Elegy for a Young American". It is a piece written to express the composer's own grief upon hearing the news that the President had been killed, and it encapsulates much of the sentiment of the country in the days following this tragic event.
I myself played the third clarinet part to this piece as a member of the PMEA District 1 Honors Band at Duquesne University in the winter of 1990 under the baton of the Hartt School's Stanley DeRusha (now at Butler University). This piece, along with many others that concert, shaped my musical life in very important ways.
On this somber occasion, music often expresses what words cannot. Allow the excellence of the Marine Band to speak of that tragic day, that we might not see another like it.
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