“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”
–Maria Augusta von Trapp
Thank you to all of you loyal Quarter Notes Blog followers! Again, I have had to suspend posting due to a recent project I have been working on: the Veterans Testimonial Project. If any of you are veterans or know of veterans from our local Half Hollow Hills Community, please have them call me at the Library. We have been interviewing U.S. veterans and recording their military experiences. This is in collaboration with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, which has continually helped and supported me as I embarked on our Project. Our first annual reception for the participating veterans was held May 9, 2015 and what a moving and emotional event it was. Over 125 people attended with family members of all ages, high school students, and local politicians adding to the celebration. We had five bagpipers from the Nassau County Fire Pipes and Drum Corps welcome the attendees by playing military tunes as people arrived. Local high school students sang the Star Spangled Banner. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the playing of taps by a World War II Army Air Corps veteran from East Northport, Long Island. William J. Thomas, Jr., or “Blackey” as he is known, honored us with the playing of taps on his cornet at the end of the program. Blackey has played taps every day in his army uniform since he left the service in the 1940s. It was a wonderful and meaningful culmination of the program, as we honored our veterans. Check out the pictures of the festivities on our Half Hollow Hills Community Library’s website, under Veterans. You may also view some of the interviews of the vets at the same link.
But, are you surprised, that music was such a large part of our celebration? I have written here in the past about music helping people to celebrate, cope, enjoy, remember, and honor. I incorporated it throughout our veterans’ reception in May. Take a look at this link of an American World War II veteran as he shares his story of playing the trumpet for a German sniper. The powers of music never cease to amaze!
The summer band season is soon upon us. Don’t forget to stop by the beautiful local settings available to you on Long Island: the Northport Community Band concerts at lovely Northport Harbor begin July 2, 2015 at 8:30 p.m. and continue through July 30th. Please come up to the bandshell to say hi! You can find me in the front row flute section. Remember: rain at 8 no date! Next door at the Huntington Hecksher Park , you’ll find the Huntington Community Band performing every Wednesday in July at 8:30 p.m. on the Chapin Rainbow Stage in the park.
Our Did You Know? for today is on a recent birthday boy, Italian Baroque composer, Claudio Monteverdi, born May 15, 1567 in Cremona Italy and died November 29, 1643 in Venice. Monteverdi published his first collection of sacred songs at the age of 15. He is known for his operas and madrigals; he published 8 books of madrigals and a ninth was published after his death. His operas include one of the most important operas of the early 17th century: Orfeo, as well as The Return of Ulysses to His Homeland and The Coronation of Poppea. According to the San Francisco Classical Voice, the most famous part of Poppea, a duet between Nero and Poppea in the last scene, was actually composed by someone else. Unfortunately, many of Monteverdi‘s compositions are lost, including more than 10 stage works and much sacred music.
Enjoy and remember “Stay tuned to the Quarter Notes Blog and in tune with all the music in your life.”
E. Susman, June 3, 2015