is invited. The concert, given Monday and Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., includes John Philip Sousa’s marches, classics like “America the Beautiful,” a stirring sonnet “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” set to music, popular songs from the World War II years, and more. The concert, called Celebrate America, will be held in the Christian Life Center behind the church. Performed by Parker Memorial’s
choir and orchestra, the songs will be familiar to most. In some selections, the audience will help “sing in” July 4th, and everyone gets a flag to wave.
Reservations are requested because last year’s “Celebrate America” concert performed to a full house. Call the church office at 256-236-5628 to reserve a seat. There is no admission fee.
“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” a verse from the sonnet
“The New Colossus” gives voice and definition to the Statue of Liberty. It was written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus and emphasizes that the national monument in New York harbor is a welcoming lady to all ocean voyagers coming in. The music for this piece was written by Jay Rouse. And “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else but Me” and the bouncy slang-oriented “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” are both upbeat songs that were introduced by The Andrews Sisters in the 1940s. They will be sung by HeartNotes, the church’s ladies octet.
When Sousa wrote “Stars and Stripes Forever,” he included an electrifying piccolo part in the final chorus that should inject a special feeling of excitement. On a more serious note, the words to a song just written by Kevin Anderson, the church’s contemporary worship leader, should turn the focus back to the positive about America, he said, “in the midst of the oil spill and other problems we face.”
Anderson wrote the song one day earlier this month. Once he got started, he said, the words came to him easily because he had lots of tradition to draw from.
“It’s a little trip through history with a rock feel,” the singer and guitarist said about his work. “It speaks of the pilgrims and the American Revolution, things we don’t mention enough these days.”
Anderson served in the U.S. Navy, and after spending time in other countries, his gratitude for the freedom he enjoys in the United States deepened his appreciation for America’s heritage.
“I wanted to say something about the courage that went into the price of freedom. And more about what this country is today,” he said. His song is titled “Celebrate America.”
It will be a light-hearted evening, according to Don Gober, minister of music at Parker Memorial.
“This will be a time for the community to come together and we hope to make it an annual event,” he said.