On Sept. 11, 2001, the American narrative changed. A concert marking the 10-year anniversary of that tragedy reminds us never to forget but also celebrates the fact that America has continued to move forward.
The New England Wind Symphony, led by conductor Clayton “Skip” Poole, will perform a special memorial concert on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Capitol Center for the Arts.
“In programming today’s concert, we felt it important to pay tribute to the heroes and the victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001,” Poole wrote in his concert notes. “It was also important that we not be overly morose in our selection of music. Our goal today is to celebrate and salute the great American spirit that endures time and time again often, as we experienced ten years ago, in truly difficult and trying times.”
Of course music has the unique ability to unite people, according to Poole, who said it was easy to put the program together. Poole found famous songs from throughout history that captured that American spirit. The New England Wind Symphony, which is composed of professional players, will perform works like Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” John Philip Sousa’s “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty,” John Williams’ “Hymn for the Fallen” and, most excitingly, a world premiere by composer Jerry Ascione, former leader of the U.S. Navy Commodores and piano soloist with the U.S. Navy Concert Band. His piece, which was written just for this concert, is called “The Blood of Our Brave,” according to Poole. This song will also feature violinist Elliott Markow and accordion by the concert’s emcee, John Carmichael.
“Music in general plays on emotion,” Poole said. “If you watched Saving Private Ryan without music it would be a wonderful film. But add in John Williams’ score and there is a complete burst of color to the event. Music is important.”
Especially on a day as infamous as Sept. 11. During the concert there will be a big screen scrolling through pictures of that day — pictures that have probably been emblazoned in our minds.
“But beyond remembering we also want to have a celebration of freedom, which helped us overcome the event,” Poole said.
The memorial concert was put together because the Capitol Center for the Arts always does something with the New Hampshire Highland Games (www.nhscot.org), which will be held Sept. 16 through Sept. 18 at Loon Mountain, according to Owen DeFrancesco, marketing manager at the Capitol Center. A lot of local police officers and firefighters participate in the Games and, with the 10-year anniversary, it only made sense to have a large commemoration for the event.
“It is a reflective event,” DeFrancesco said. “It won’t be depressing. It is about us moving beyond and growing as a state and a country and how through the tragedy we became better people.
“Skip [Poole] can really zero in and find the iconic songs that capture the history of the American people through music,” DeFrancesco said.
The concert in Concord is one of many tributes being performed throughout southern New Hampshire. The Currier Museum of Art, www.currier.org, is waiving admission fees on Sunday, while the Henniker Youth Theatre, www.hennikeryouththeatre.org, will perform a reading of a new play titled 9/11 Students Remember. which includes memories of students affected by the terrorist attack, on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 2 p.m.