No sooner than giving a concert for Halloween, I was ready to research music for Veterans Day.
University of Hawaii Maui College’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC) will recognize this important day on Wednesday November 12th, 2014, with open house from 10 AM to 2 PM. My piano class will be playing music to suit the occasion. [More information at UHMC Music Blog.]
Several of my past and present piano students are veterans. They tell me that playing piano is good for them. And so, I placed a new digital piano at the VRC to encourage them and others to play.
For eleven years in Okinawa, I lived on an air base and went to school with military dependents. Many of them followed their parents’ footsteps and joined the forces or married servicemen. Most have either retired or about to retire.
What music is suitable to play on this occasion?
My students know the following from their textbook:
- Yankee Doodle
- Reveille: US Army Bugle Call
- When the Saints Go Marching In
While the Star Spangled Banner is unlikely to be played, it’s still worth including in the repertoire.
Besides these obvious patriotic oldies, there are also memorable themes from movies about war, such as “Saving Private Ryan.”
I am fond of playing the piano arrangement of “Ashokan Farewell” —- in “Eleven Great Songs in Honor of Veterans Day.”
As a college student, I remember dancing to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” without paying attention to the lyrics. How would the lyrics be today?