Today is Election Day and regardless of your political leanings I am sure that we can all agree that the right to vote is the central pillar of our great American story and essential to our democracy. So why not enjoy these great masterworks by the greatest American composers. Here is a list of 5 iconic works to listen to on your way to your polling station.
THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER BY JOHN PHILIP SOUSA
"The Stars and Stripes Forever," is considered to be John Phillip Sousa's most famous march. Composed by Sousa on Christmas Day in 1896, the march was composed in his head while traveling on an ocean liner and transcribed on paper when he returned to the United States. In 1987, by an act of the U.S. Congress, the march was declared the National March of the United States of America.
GIVE ME YOUR TIRE, YOUR POOR BY IRVING BERLIN
"Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" from the 1949 musical Miss Liberty was composed by American composer, Irving Berlin. While Irving Berlin wrote most of his own lyrics for his songs, "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" is the only song in his catalogue for which he used lyrics written by someone else. In 1883, Emma Lazarus wrote these stirring words as part of her sonnet, "The New Colossus", for an art auction “In Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund.”
In 1906, The New Colossus, was affixed to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty and welcomed scores of immigrants, including Irving Berlin.
FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN BY AARON COPLAND
Fanfare for the Common Man is an iconic work by American composer Aaron Copland. Composed in 1942 for the Cincinnati Symphony, Fanfare For the Common Man was inspired in part by a famous speech made by Vice President Henry A. Wallace.
Originally composed as a response to World War II, the Fanfare has become a pop culture icon in America. The arrangement by rock band, Emerson, Lake, and Palmar was used as the theme music for CBS Sports Spectacular.
AIN'T GONNA LET NOBODY TURN ME AROUND
The Freedom Song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" is based on an African American Gospel song with the same title.
Like other freedom songs, the words to the song were improvised and based on the protest. Unlike earlier Gospel renditions, Freedom songs were prepared at meetings and led by groups of musicians or members of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. One of the most famous singing groups of the Civil Rights Movement were the Freedom Singers. Leaders of the Freedom Singers would later form Sweet Honey in the Rock, a professional performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture.
FANFARE FOR THE UNCOMMON WOMAN NO. 6 BY JOAN TOWER
Joan Tower is a prominent leader among the generation of female American composers and is credited with creating her own voice and leading the way for later generations. Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman is a collection of 6 Fanfares. The first and most popular fanfare was inspired by Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and dedicated to Conductor, Marin Alsop of the Baltimore Symphony.
The Fanfares have been performed worldwide by over 500 ensembles and are a tribute to women who were risk-takers and adventurers.
Don't miss the Albany Symphony perform Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 6 performed by David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony on April 8, 2017 alongside Beethoven's epic Symphony No. 9.
CONCERTS TO EXPLORE