November 20, 2019
Nov. 20, 2019—Salyards Middle School choir students honored World War II veterans and other members of the “greatest generation” with a special concert on Nov. 14.
Salyards choir teacher Amy Moore had a vision five years ago of a concert in which students sang World War II-era songs. After continuing to talk with her father, who is a jazz musician, the first “greatest generation” concert was performed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War II.
2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the war and Moore decided to produce the concert again. Students auditioned for the show and all rehearsals for the show occurred afterschool. Students were dressed in vintage dresses, old Army and Navy uniforms and sang popular songs including “I’ll be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by the Andrews Sisters and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland. All music was performed by a professional, live jazz band.
In between songs, students shared stories of World War II veterans that had ties to faculty, staff and students of Salyards. A slideshow showcasing veterans and their wives also played during the concert.
“Unlike any other concert that I have ever done, this concert demonstrates and gives students the opportunity to experience the true power of music,” Moore said. “It’s not just something that you stand up and sing. These songs actually evoke emotion and it means something to so many people. These songs have power beyond just talking about a memory; it takes people back to relive that time. This concert has been a wonderful teaching opportunity because students are changed after seeing what something like this can do for people. In education today, there are so many things that we have to do. This is something we wanted to do for a generation that sacrificed everything.”