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Laurie Niles

One Voice -- Happy July 4

July 4, 2010 at 8:02 PM

Sometimes I think that the solo voice of a violin can be very poignant, when it comes to patriotic music. Many years ago I played the Marine Hymn at Robert's grandfather's funeral -- he was a veteran of World War II. I had been feeling bad that I had no piano accompaniment, feeling that it would sound so thin and inadequate. But when that lone voice started over the silence, and I felt all ears attuned to that one sound, it was more powerful than anything I could have planned. One life makes a difference, one voice makes a difference.

Here is a beautiful live performance of the U.S. National Anthem by my friend Peter Wilson, who is a violinist in the U.S. Marine Band. Happy July 4th!



From Bev Saunders
Posted on July 5, 2010 at 2:32 AM

Absolutely beautiful and inspiring!  Thanks for sharing


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 5, 2010 at 2:56 AM

The traditional song Taps, often played at funerals for military people, sounds surprisingly good on the violin.  I played it at church on my violin once and dedicated it to those who had been killed just days before in the first school shooting spree at Columbine High School.

Thanks for posting your recording.  It is beautiful, especially when you consider that the melody for our national anthem was originally an English pub song.  Transcribing and arranging music are arts that don't get the appreciation they deserve.

From Juergen L. Hemm
Posted on July 5, 2010 at 1:32 PM

As long as the U.S. Army still maintained a presence in Nuremberg, the Independence Day celebrations were always a big events for all those who liked good food, spectacular fireworks and lots of outstanding entertainment. As a child, I lived two blocks away from the major housing area constructed for the soldiers and their families, listening to Reveille every morning and Last Post every night; the sight of the big DOD high school with the Stars and Stripes fluttering above in the breeze - especially on one of those rare summer days, when even cloudy Germany was under a sky of pure blue and the white building reflected the blinding light - was very impressive to me.

With my square dance club, the Shooting Stars Fuerth, I had the honor of participating in the Independence Day Pageant of 1990, contributing a couple of singing calls with a "pioneer feeling". It was at the same time exhilarating and scary to have my calling projected over a huge PA to my square of eight dancers and an audience of thousands (from the Nuremberg Military Community and beyond), including two of my IRS colleagues from recently liberated East Germany. BTW, the guest of honor was Marina Sirtis - a.k.a. Counselor Deanna Troi.

One of the highlights was a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by an excellent military band - the proud strains gripped everybody's heartstrings - especially so soon after the peaceful downfall of the Iron Curtain just a few dozen miles to the east.

As Charles de Gaulle put it so aptly: "patriotism is loving your country, nationalism is detesting other peoples' countries". I hope you all had a super-enjoyable patriotic holiday - and thanks for sharing this fine and moving rendition of a great tune.

From Jeff Terflinger
Posted on July 6, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Here is yet another version, but quite a different take.

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