Eleven days ago as I write this (July 18, 2019), I heard a speaker mention that later this month would be the 50th Anniversary of our first landing on the moon in 1969. Immediately the thought popped into my mind – “We need some music to commemorate this event and the anniversary!”
So that afternoon, I sat down with a pen and blank manuscript paper – yes, I still start that way – and ten days later, Moon Landing USA / Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Our First Landing on the Moon, July 20, 1969, was finished.
Sadly, the first rehearsal of this piece will not be until two days AFTER that anniversary, but the MCSB will proudly present the WORLD PREMIERE of this significant new work in our concert on August 24, 2019. You don’t want to miss that!
Dr. Paxton Girtmon, Music Director of the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band, on having heard the first sketches of the work, asked, “How does this relate to the Moon landing?”
I had to think about that for a bit, then I replied, “The opening grand fanfare section could represent the crowds gathered at Cape Kennedy (formerly Cape Canaveral) in eager anticipation of the launch, and the cheer that went up from the nation on that day as the Saturn V rocket launched Apollo 11 up, up into the bright blue morning sky. The quiet section that follows portrays the peace and waiting as the capsule drifts for 3 days through the 240,000 miles to the moon, then we have a very busy section as they go into orbit around the moon for 24 hours, preparing to touch down. The grand fanfare then comes back as they finally touch down at Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.”
As you listen to this preview video and watch the compressed score scroll by (this is a Finale rendering of the full score – we haven’t had the first rehearsal yet), see how accurate that description seems to you, and let me know what you think of the piece. And if you can make it, DO NOT MISS the WORLD PREMIERE of this work at the Belhaven University Auditorium, 7PM on August 24, 2019.
This work will make an ideal easy-to-master showcase piece for your next concert.