new day

The day after 9/11, I realize more than ever how important the presence of music is in the life of people during good times and bad. The FDNY pipe and drum band, armed forces performing groups and the artists that performed throughout the ceremonies added immeasurably to the solemn gatherings that were held at the 9/11 memorial venues. Add to that concerts and memorial services held across the country, and you get the picture of a country that embraces music during its most solemn and important moments.

Nearly all the performances included percussionists in all types of settings, including concert band, orchestra, or contemporary pop music. The obvious connection of drums to military events is not lost, but in this case, the percussionists participated in requiem masses, spirituals and tributes. It was reassuring to me to hear percussion instruments used in these memorials. The drums in the pipe bands, the back beat in a country ballad, the timpani in the Mozart Requiem all added to the day.

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