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SBCS and Westmont Offer Tribute to Our Veterans


November 10, 2013 – The Santa Barbara Choral Society and the Westmont Orchestra, Dr. Michael Shasberger conductor, joined forces on Sunday, November 10 in a moving tribute, honoring our nation’s military veterans.  The event, sponsored by the Pierre Claeysson’s Veteran’s Library and Museum, and produced by Marilyn Gilbert, paid special honor to our Korean War veterans on the 60th anniversary of the Armistice ending that conflict.  A program of inspiring and nostalgic music and words filled every patriotic heart with pride.  State Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson and a representative of the office of US Rep. Lois Capps (himself a veteran) were on hand to present awards to two of our local wartime heroes: Lt. Col. Jack Harris, USMC (ret) and Maj. Gen. Philip Conley, USAF.  The program gave ample reason for all present to reflect on the sacrifices made by our men and women in military service, throughout our nation’s history, and to remind us all that our freedom doesn’t come without a price.

The music of the afternoon was appropriately patriotic, including singing of the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful”. The chorus and orchestra also performed “Homeland”, under the baton of SBCS conductor JoAnne Wasserman.  A trio of Westmont singers delighted the audience with their Andrews Sisters’ medley of tunes: “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”, “Sincerely”, and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.  A special arrangement made for the Westmont Orchestra and Santa Barbara Choral Society, by Daniel Gee, of the popular ballad, “I Believe”,  of particular significance as an anthem of hope during the Korean War era, featured soloists Celeste Tavera and Emile Cristescu. Particularly poignant, was the piece titled ‘Two Brothers’, a haunting work by James Stevenson, for orchestra and narrative reading, commissioned by Westmont and based on letters written to each other and to their families from brothers who fought on opposite sides during our nation’s Civil War.  SBCS singers were proud to have been asked to participate in this beautiful community tribute.


Sunday, November 10 at 2:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church
State at Constance Streets
Santa Barbara