• Activity of the Day

    My Country Tis of Thee

    We are wrapping up our week on patriotic music with the song "My Country Tis of Thee" by Samuel Francis Smith. The story of this patriotic song dates back to the year 1831, when Samuel Francis Smith was attending the Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. Smith was asked to translate a few German Lutheran songbooks. He was inspired by the song "God Bless this Native Land" and so he set out to write an American version, one with different lyrics but the same basic tune. The first performance of the song was in July of 1831 by a Boston children's choir. The popularity of ''My Country, 'Tis of Thee'' only grew from there and quickly became the unofficial national anthem of the United States. As you know it lost that time but not until a century later to yesterday's song "America the Beautiful." 

    Fun facts:

    Rev. Martin Luther King quoted Smith's lyrics in his famous I have a dream speach when he called on the nation to "let freedom ring."

    Before the music of "God Bless this Native Land" made its way to the United States it was played in many different countries and become the national anthem of atleast seven countries.

    My Country Tis of Thee music

  • Activity of the Day

    You're a Grand Old Flag by George M. Cohen

    Today's patriotic song celebrates throwback Thursday, kicking it back to your Chandler school days in music class where learned the motions and the song Grand Old Flag.

    Did you know?

    You're a "Grand Old Flag" was  the first song from a musical to sell over a million pieces of sheet music. Before phonographs and radios the best way to hear a new song was to buy the sheet music and learn how to play it at home. If you wanted to fill your home with new music you had to buy, borrow, trade, or collected sheet music. (Today I just go on my spotify app to hear new music.) Back then popular songwriters became celebrities, household names, and sometimes even millionaires.  George M. Cohan was already a Broadway star in 1906, but sheet music made him a legend. As a performer and songwriter, he had been part of several successful shows and had written a number of hit songs, including "Give My Regards to Broadway." However, when he introduced an upbeat, patriotic song called "You’re a Grand Old Rag" in his new musical George Washington, Jr., he became a nationwide sensation. The song’s popularity quickly spread across the country and soon it was being sung throughout the United States.

    Grand Old Flag music  

    You're A Grand Old Flag- sheet music cover  

  • Activity of the Day

    America the Beautiful

     We are continuing our patriotic music week by learning the song America the Beautiful.

    In 1893 the english professor Katharine Lee Bates traveled from Massachusetts by train to teach a summer class in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her adventure allowed her to see so many scenic locations as she traveled west. At the end of her summer class Bates and her friends traveled to the top of Pikes Peak, a mountain overlooking Colorado Springs. They rode up the peak in a prairie wagon and then had to make the last part of the trip by riding mules. When they finally got to the top, Bates looked out over the landscape and was struck by the awe-inspiring by the view. It was that trip that inspired her to write the poem "Pikes Peak". In 1882 the choirmaster Samuel A Ward composed the tune to accompany the poem. The music and lyrics were finally published together in 1910 under the name we know "America the Beautiful."

    America the Beautiful song



US Army Band- America the Beautiful

US Navy Band America the Beautiful

  • Activity of the Day

    The Star Spangled Banner

    This week we are celebrating and learning about patriotic music. There is no better way to kick off the week than by learning about our national anthem- The Star Spangled Banner.

    Did you know?:

    Francis Scott Key wrote the poem in September 14, 1814 and it wasn't set to music until 1931. The poem was originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” and was written after Key watched the  Marylandfort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music of a popular English folk song called “To Anacreon in Heaven” by composer John Stafford Smith. People began referring to the song as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931. (taken from history.com)


    Star Spangled Banner sheet music



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