Sunday, September 15, 2013

Music to my ears!

My town offered many free activities during the summer. On Monday's the public library sponsored free concerts in the town park. Audiences sat in the round on graduated steps or in lawn chairs, and listened to rock and roll, country, jazz, and the oldies. Some people would get up and dance. One particular man, nicknamed "The Dancing Man" by the town, stood next to the stage and danced to EVERY song and acted out the words. He was fascinating to watch. Not a great dancer, but fascinating to watch. Even the bands called out to him, "We see 'Dancing Man' is here tonight!" The first time I saw him, I laughed till tears came down my face. But what the heck, he was having a good time, right? I even took a video of him to share with you, but now it's gone from my phone. Don't know what happened.

Here are some pictures from those concerts.

This is across from where the band plays. People gather under the pavilion, too, since the sound carries across the pond.

One of the many bands that entertained us.

Oldies Band

Country Band
Also there is an Arts Center in town that offered free concerts almost every Saturday in a beautiful park. Nothing like listening to music under the stars! We attended a couple of them, the last one being given by the Symphonic Pops Orchestra of Chicago. Frank Winkler was the conductor.

There were two professional singers that joined the orchestra and sang some of the songs.

The orchestra played mostly show tunes from Broadway plays and movies like Star Wars, When You Wish Upon a Star, Memory (from Cats), A Chorus Line, and Les Miserables. All of these were very enjoyable.

But the BEST part was when they did the patriotic songs. First an announcer came up to the mic and said, "We usually don't interrupt the program, but is there a (mentioned a man's name) here? We heard that it was his 94th birthday today!"

The whole crowd stood up and clapped.

I was in tears.

Then the announcer continued. "He served in the army. This one is for you and all the rest of the veterans out there."

The orchestra broke out into the "Armed Forces Salute" where each stanza recognizes a branch of the service. When they mentioned the Marine Corps, a handful of men in the audience stood up, and the crowd cheered them one. Same for the Air Force. When it came time for the Navy, my husband, Jim, stood up proudly and saluted during the whole stanza. I think I clapped the loudest!

Then the band played America the Beautiful and everyone stood and sang along. A lot of clapping ensued and then everyone took their seats.

And if THAT weren't enough, the band outdid themselves, breaking out into Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA".

(If you don't know that song, here's the video.)

When the singers sang the words, "And I'd gladly STAND UP NEXT TO YOU...." people started standing up all over the crowd.

It was beautiful.

Did I say that tears were streaming down my face?

What a moving performance!

And it didn't cost me a penny!


Ami said...

Great pictures. Love the new header photo, too.

I'm disappointed not to see at least a photo of 'dancing man' though. :)

Tell Jim I said 'Thank you for your service.'

Brian Miller said...

wow i am so proud of how they addresses that veteran...that is awesome.....we dont get much live music around here...mostly a cover charge...did see one...and caught a few int he next town over...

Adam said...

cool to see a concert with a water background.

JoJo said...

Very nice!!! Great setting too.

Banker Chick said...

Lovely...wish we had more things like this around here.

Lynn said...

Looks like a great summer activity. Thanks for sharing the song. It always touches me when the servicemen stand up for the military salute.

Rae said...

It looks like a lovely spot. If I had been there I would have been clapping and crying too. Sounds like a wonderful tribute.

Al Penwasser said...

And those are the kinds of things I hope my town never stops!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. Everyone should do this.

Liz A. said...

The cities in this area do similar things. I've never been, but I should go. A couple of them are really close.

labbie1 said...

That is GREAT!!!! I just love Lee Greenwood's song and it sounds like the concerts were wonderful. That harp is magnificent BTW!!!!

Snowflake said...

How lucky you are to have such wonderful free entertainment all summer long!!

Hilary said...

wow - what an amazing day.. I would be crying too - how wonderful!

Thanks so much for your comment on McGuffy Ann's site (her review of my book - Dangled Carat) - I really appreciate it!

Gail said...

That is great! I would be right there bawling with you.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love summer concerts! I hope Dancing Man is there again next year, so you can video him again (and share). He sounds like a cool eccentric character (I like eccentric).

SquirrelQueen said...

That is a beautiful place for outdoor concerts. Our town also has free outdoor concerts in the summer but they are downtown and the view isn't as impressive.