Monday, September 19, 2011

A Remembrance and a Tribute

"Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit presents 
10 Years Later 
~A Time to Reflect~ 
Our 9/11 Tribute"
Sunday September 11, 2011

One week has passed and still I can't get over the impact of this concert. I was one of those up on the stage playing an instrument - trying to read the music through tear filled eyes. I'm sure it would also have been difficult to find a dry eye in the SRO audience either. 

The concert performance included not only the Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit (band and bandfront) but also several songs included the addition of the voices from the combined choruses of the Boyertown Senior High, Jr. High East & Junior High West, & the Boyertown Area Choral Association (a community chorus) as well as soloist Tammy Black. 

The concert began with the audience joining the Unit in the National Anthem immediately followed by a performance of Taps by two of our trumpeters (one stood on the stage, the other down alongside the audience). Can you imagine the effect of the trumpet on stage being echoed by the other trumpet across the auditorium?  Our Master of Ceremonies, Dave Focht later recited some of the words:
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.

Next a solo trumpeter started the piece Amazing Grace and gradually the rest of the band joined him in a beautiful version of this hymn. The concert continued with some new music and many traditional pieces. Some with narration and one with a slide show of images from that dreadful day set to James Swearingen's "Flight of Valor". Again, the tears flowed. Even though the band was seated behind the screen and I could not see the slide show, I had trouble seeing my music - I had seen the slideshow several times already and knew what was happening on the screen as I played my part.

Another special part of the afternoon concert was a performance by Dave Focht and Concert Committee Chairperson and Twirler Jayne McHugh. Entitled "What a Difference a Day Makes," this was not a piece of music but instead a counterpoint of observations - what people were doing on Monday the 10th and what people were doing on Tuesday the 11th. And then three guests spoke between some of the songs - State Senator Judy Schwank, U.S. Representative Jim Gerlach, and Boyertown Mayor Marianne Deery. 

The concert ended with the choruses spread out in the aisles among the audience and all the people - choruses and audience - singing the words as the band played "America the Beautiful" followed by "God Bless America." The last song, "God Bless America," first featured soloist Karen Black with the band then on the repeat, the audience and choruses joined in.

Let me say that I have never heard anything quite so incredible. 
I was and am proud to have been a part of such an awesome memorial and tribute.
At the same time I was and am humbled by the compassion and efforts of those who responded that day 10 years ago - those First Responders who risked, and in many cases lost their lives to aid the victims of the attacks.

The concert was recorded and a double CD is being produced. Anyone who is interested may order a copy by going to the official site of the Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit.
The website address is:
A form is available to print and mail in for your copy of the concert. The slideshow will be included as a DVD track on one of the disks.
You can also read a newspaper article about the concert at:

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