On Saturday, February 4, I was one of over a thousand people gathered at St. Mary Catholic Church to hear the extraordinary U.S. Army Chorus. They began with a selection of four sacred pieces, including the dear hymn, “Precious Blood,” with a soloist who is a native of Richmond, VA.
A Broadway medley of songs followed, from Les Miserables, that were beautifully presented. Songs from The Jersey Boys, currently on Broadway, brought back memories for many, with songs from the 60’s. Throughout the program, soloists were featured from the tenors down to the bass. Although a small group of less than 20, their voices filled the large church. With the aid of grand acoustics they were superb!
Just after the intermission, we heard from the pianist, who received his Masters from the Juliard School of Music and later his PhD from another university. He played a very lively jazz piece, a shoe stomper and a show stopper!
The sing-a-long part of the program included the songs of all the branches of our military, beginning with our “youngest” branch, the Coast Guard, and ending with the Army, the most “mature.” Members of the audience were asked to stand if they had served or had a loved one who served. It is always good to have the opportunity to thank our Veterans and their families, “Lest we forget.”
The U.S. Army Chorus has closed with the riveting “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” since the days of President Eisenhower, and Saturday’s performance was no exception. The response from the audience was so great that they sang three encores, which delighted the attendees all the more.
It was an afternoon I shall long remember; one that I have placed in my memory bank, to draw on as needed…