Honoring Memorial Day

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Honoring Memorial Day

Lately we’ve all been thinking more about what it means to be a hero. While Memorial Day honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, putting their lives on the line as part of our military, today we can also see that same spirit in some unusual places  – from healthcare workers and firefighters to truck drivers and grocery store cashiers. Today they are soldiers too.

Which got us to thinking, and remembering the lyric “I’ll Be a Soldier”, from our 2014 NY Premiere of David Lang’s battle hymnsWe performed this large-scale a cappella meditation on war in Hangar 3 of the Intrepid Museum, as a massive chorus of 200+ voices, joined by the Manhattan Girls Chorus and veterans from the Veteran Artist Program, conducted by James Bagwell and directed by Ted Sperling.

To express our gratitude for all the sacrifices that others are making on our behalf, we share with you this mantra-like clip from the first movement, a collage of words based on Stephen Foster’s lyric, “I’ll Be a Soldier.”

I’ll be a soldier and march to the drum,
And lie in my tent when the night shadows come;
I’ll be a soldier with knapsack and gun,
And stand to my post ’till the dim of battle’s done.

– Stephen Foster

Enjoy the music, and enjoy the day.