As I contemplate the commemoration of 10 years since the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the impact it has had on this generation of Americans, I am also very much contemplating the day of December 7th, 1941, and its own impact.
On that day, here in our own Northwest Indiana, the seeds of that can-do, nothing-can-deter-us, and unique, positive American spirit were planted. If you can, imagine for a moment living through that day of December 7th, but you are a conductor or an orchestra musician. The very first concert of the Gary Civic Symphony Orchestra has been planned for that same evening. How do you feel? What do you do?
What those musicians did was to go ahead and do what they could best to for the community -- they played the concert. They began with the "Star Spangled Banner."
On Friday, September 16th, we are beginning our concert with the "Star Spangled Banner." We will then travel back to that day in 1941 and try to remember all the things that happened on that day, what happened to our area, how we contributed. We will look at how our area has changed and grown over the past 70 years and how our orchestra has changed and grown over those 70 years. We think that we hold a special place in the hearts of people in Northwest Indiana and we ask you to come join us for our 70th anniversary birthday concert.
We will hear Roosevelt give his "Day of Infamy" speech and then we will move on with the music that could only be American -- the big band music that marines and infantrymen danced to, the swing music that sailors and airmen listened to, remembering what it was like to be home in Indiana.
Plus, it IS a birthday! And once we get swingin', the concert will be hoppin' with the lively big band music of Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Irving Berlin, and Louis Prima to name but a few.
We hope that you will set Friday the 16th aside to share the opening of our 70th birthday year with us. We are doing what the musicians of 70 years ago did, playing wonderful music and providing a night of quality entertainment to celebrate our times together as a community.
We, too, at the symphony have that Rosie the Riveter spirit of "We can do it!" and a willingness to contribute whatever we can to your lives and the future of our region.
The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra presents Swing Time! featuring Five By Design, Friday, September 16, at 8pm at the Star Plaza Theatre. Tickets range from $25 to $65. Guests can add more fun to their evening by adding on the Gala Package to their ticket order for pre-concert dinner and cocktails at the Celebrity Ballroom at the adjacent Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza and a post-concert dessert and champagne reception in the Star Plaza Theatre. Call (219) 836-0525 or visit www.nisorchestra.org for tickets or more information.
Opinions are solely those of the writer's. Kirk Muspratt is the conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. Muspratt's column is an occasional feature during symphony season.