In its second decade honoring veterans, the Willamette Master Chorus presents it’s annual Veterans Concert honoring the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941 – a day that has certainly lived in infamy. The Willamette Master Chorus recognizes this event and honors those who responded. The chorus will present a set of patriotic music and branch service hymns. Popular music from WWII will be heard along with a newly commissioned work by Western Oregon University Music Professor, Kevin Walczyk.
Kevin Walczyk’s cantata Drifting Gently through Endless Beauty combines the writings of American journalist and World War II war correspondent Ernie Pyle, philosopher Christopher Lasch, a poem attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye, and biblical references. All combine to inspire a story of spiritual reconciliation between a recently killed husband and his bride struggling to make sense of his sacrifice in a distant land.
Music was a salve for people during WWII, with cheery swing bands lighting up the dance floors and crooners lifting spirits of radio audiences. The chorus will present some well-known tunes written in 1942 that include From the Hills above Pearl Harbor and Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. God Bless the Child, Skylark and Take the “A” Train were all recorded in 1941, and achieved immense popularity during the war years. Interestingly, This is My Country was written in 1940, but the first recording took place January 7, 1942 – exactly one month after the attack.
Master of Ceremonies for this occasion is radio personality and sports announcer Bill Schonely. He served as a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps and was posted overseas during the Korean Conflict, 1948-1953.
Special guest is Ed Johann, a Navy veteran who served on the USS Solace at the time of the Japanese air raid. He was a 17-year old apprentice seaman ferrying passengers to and from a hospital ship moored in Pearl Harbor when the attack began. His was the first rescue vessel to reach the USS Arizona after it was hit.
Dates: Saturday, November 12, 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 13, 3 pm
Location: Hudson Hall on the Willamette University campus
Individual tickets: $15-$30
Veterans receive a 10% discount for the Veterans concert (please call)
Tickets are available online: www.WillametteMasterChorus.org