July 16 – 21, 2014

Things are winding down at the Institute and a lot of time is spent now on working on our projects.  Wednesday the 16th we talked about John Phillip Sousa and created our own anthems.  This would be a fun idea in the classroom.  Give the kids a tune and have them come up with a new poem/song/anthem to that tune.  Would challenge their writing abilities and give them a musical format.

Thursday we had a great lecture with Maureen Mahon about African American spirituals and associations with the anthem.  Learned a lot about the “Black National Anthem” called LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING.  I’d heard the song, but didn’t know the political connotations of it.  Here’s a stirring version from the Kennedy Center.

And then, of course, as with all anthems there is controversy.  Rene Marie sang LIFT EVERY VOICE to the Star Spangled Banner tune in this clip.  Notice how everyone around her is not quite sure what to do OR what’s happening.

Friday was our last day with David Prather who did a great bit on Yankee Doodle poetry designed for young school children, so naturally, I could identify with that.

Saturday and Sunday at brother Andrew’s and Ann’s house, where we took off on some more Civil War adventures.    To Manassas,  Arlington and Fort Washington traipsing around in the battlefields and over the fort ramparts.

Dinner in Alexandria

Dinner in Alexandria

Stonewall Jackson and Manassas Battlefield - It was the 153rd anniversary while we were there.

Stonewall Jackson and Manassas Battlefield – It was the 153rd anniversary while we were there.

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Fort Washington overlooking the Potomac

Fort Washington overlooking the Potomac

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