Heidelberg concert to salute veterans

Oct 30, 2012

The Heidelberg University School of Music will present a “Tribute to American Veterans,” a special concert of patriotic and freedom-themed music, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, at the Ohio Memorial Chapel of the Tiffin Developmental Center, 600 River Road.

The Heidelberg University-Community Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Paul Mayhew, and the Heidelberg Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. John Owen, will be combine forces for the program. Music will include an Armed Forces salute medley of service hymns for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.

The featured work of the evening will be Randall Thompson’s “Testament of Freedom,” a setting of four Thomas Jefferson texts for band and chorus. The evening will conclude with Peter Wilhousky’s setting of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Heidelberg’s Singing Collegians, which Mayhew also directs, will kick off the program with a performance of the National Anthem. Local veterans organizations are scheduled to present the colors.

Thompson wrote “Testament of Freedom” in 1943 – the bicentennial of Jefferson’s birth – while he was teaching at the University of Virginia. The work was premiered by the Virginia Glee Club with the composer at the piano. Thompson later created a version for mixed chorus and accompaniment for full orchestra or symphonic band. The premier was recorded by CBS Radio and broadcast nationwide and to allied servicemen stationed in Europe.

Mayhew said the piece is divided into four movements, including a powerful section that is, in essence, a call to arms. “This will be something really special,” he said.

Owen said the Heidelberg ensembles are excited to provide this salute to veterans and a program that will have broad appeal to an audience that is different than the standard.

“This music is excellent. The text is terrific and fascinating,” Owen said.

The concert is free and open to the public. Heidelberg invites veterans to reserve special seating for themselves and their families by contacting Patricia Page at the School of Music, 419-448-2073. Wheelchair assistance and handicap accessibility is available.

A freewill offering to benefit the Developmental Center and the School of Music will be taken.