We made our trek to Chicago last night to spend the holiday's with our families. From the amount of traffic on the roads, it appears that many were doing the same. We arrived at my mother in laws in time to see the 4th quarter of the Colts cap off their two game win streak:)
This morning we awoke and turned on the television to ABC's Good Morning America to see the very fine Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale! My mind went immediately to the amount of TV shows and specials that are on during this time of year that revolve around the music of the season. (Before we tuned the Colts Game on, my mother in law was watching Andrea Bocelli & David Foster: My Christmas, on PBS)
My family has had the awe-inspiring good fortune to become acquainted with and to cultivate a tender and caring friendship with a man by the name of Mr. Durward Swanson. Mr. Swanson is no ordinary man. He is a survivor of the Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7, 1941. A day that President Roosevelt said "will live in infamy".
Our first encounters with Mr. Swanson were in 2006. He was "adopted" by the Alan C. Pope High School Band to accompany them to the Waikiki Holiday Parade in Honolulu, Hawaii commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor. He visited the school several times to talk with the band students conveying to them his experiences as a military policeman on motor cycle patrol at Hickam Field, located next to Pearl Harbor. He shared the following with them about his activities on that infamous day:
This past week my travels took me to the Atlanta area to meet with a group of booster presidents from a sizable school district and then to Rochester, New York for the NYSSMA Winter Convention. Listening to these parents speak and then to hear great presentations from Marcia Neel (president of Music Education Consultants), Laurie Lock (former director of programs at VH1-Save the Music Foundation), and Dr. Scott Shuler (president of NAfME—formerly MENC), the one thing that is enormously clear is that every one of these people pointed to the PARENT as the key to making certain music and the arts remain core to our students' complete education. Parents hold all of the power! Now, more than ever, there is a need to mobilize a national movement of parents.