Today is Independence Day in the United States. Along with the Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” and other patriotic music easily heard on radio stations or at concerts in the park today, John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” will certainly be on the list.
I love that song.
My father was a piccolo player and one of the pieces I was lucky enough to hear/see him play in concert several times on days like today, was “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” When it comes time for the piccolo solo, the player(s) stand. I had to watch my father play from the back of the crowd because I knew I would I always stand, too.
When he rose and took in a deep breath before the first note, my image of him as my dad faded for a few moments. He was the piccolo player. He was a very good piccolo player, in fact.
So . . . because I’ve already heard “The Stars and Stripes Forever’ several time s today already, and will likely hear it a few more times before this Independence Day is over, I decided to say thanks to piccolo players for providing an auditory memory of my dad.
Because my father served in the United States Air Force, I am including a link to the United States Air Force Band’s website. You’ll have to scroll down to find ”The Stars and Stripes Forever”, but it’s there for listening as well as downloading. It’s in the section titled Marches for Pre-ceremony and Pass-in-Review. My link is to the ceremonial music, but near the top right side of the page, you also have options to look for other USAF Band music by ensemble and genre. Enjoy!
And have a Happy 4th!