Airmen of Note – DAR Constitution Hall

Looking out the window this morning, I haven’t seen snowflakes this big since I was a kid in Milwaukee. They take forever to fall, and if you’re outside you can catch them on your tongue. Right here in the District of Columbia. No one talks about that very much do they? I suppose it happens more frequently than we visitors realize. For me, this is a romantic vision that turns on my imagination. Cant you see Ali McGraw and Ryan o’neil in a love story walking hand in hand sitting on a park bench and faces turned up, snowflakes falling. It’s poetic stuff. And here it is the rehearsals with airmen of note and strings; high poetry itself.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.

Where never lark, or even eagle flew —

And, while with silent lifting mind I have trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee jr., Pilot Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force.

I love that poem so much that I borrowed the last line for the bridge of “Mornin’”, a real high point. The poet of that piece was in the Air Force during WWII, and perished in flight.

This is my second year in a row with the Airmen of Note. I’m really proud of that. Last time we sold out at George Washington University’s Listner Hall. And this time we appeared at the fabulous DAR Constitution Hall. It was a sell out. I have friends and family in DC since the first days of, “We Got By.” When I mentioned the Childe Harold, these people scream and go crazy. The Childe Harold was the big living room in an old mansion where I did my first dates in Washington DC. The Capital Jazz Fest and Merriweather Post are relative newcomer venues… Wonderful! And boy what fabulous times at Wolf Trap. It has been a wonderful 37-year history. Thank you DC.

General McDew (the commander of the Washington DC Air Wing that has constant jet airplane security patrol flying over Washington DC) blew my mind when he came back stage. And greeted me with a hug and a smile, lookin’ like the presidents cousin. And saying “thank you” to me.

Wow! Several times, probably too many, I said thank you to our military people who serve and protect. My heart and soul are in this music that I do. And I gave it to them tonight. We shared it, and acknowledged our love for music and country… Together. That is very special to me. To be invited to sing with the air force band/orchestra in the very first place is… You tell me the word. How about over the moon?

Monday morning breakfast with Pete and Donna and Paige and Brian. Silver golden halos in my mind around that breakfast table when I think of it. Pete and Donna are old friends from Ripon College, and the Indigos singing quartet. Pete is a Professor Emeritus of Engineering in the Computer Science program at George Washington. And Donna is a counseling psychologist.

Tech sergeant Paige Martin, singer extraordinaire, who can easily share the stage with any singer in the world, joined us for breakfast. She is a fantastic singer who should be heard all over the world. We promised each other we’d sing together again soon. Thank you Washington DC area and Airmen of Note. We did it again.

And a special thanks to the lady in white in the front row who was texting her girlfriend something about me… I hope. Anyway, she gave the evening such a light-hearted air when she was a such a good sport about my stopping and asking her what she was doing in the middle of a song, as the orchestra kept playing. That was fun. Ok ya’ll I’ll see ya later.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

No Response

Leave us a comment

No comment posted yet.

Leave a Reply