Saginaw Art Museum | Township View TownshipView SBSO’s Patriotic Salute to Veterans By Mark DeWolf-Ott It was a night of Americana, you got the idea as you walked into the ornate Temple Theatre lobby where red, white, and blue bunting was draped from the balcony and stair rails. The evening started with ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ featuring Naval Musicians and a Military Color Guard. The first half seemed to go by fast. The highlight for me was a piece by Robert Jager called ‘Esprit de Corps’. This piece honors the Marines killed during the bombing of their base in Lebanon in 1983. Maestro Fouad Fakhouri, having lived in Beirut at the time, gave his own personal account of the event. Fakhouri explained that the composer wanted an uplifting arrangement instead of a requiem, and that it was. The first part concluded with a special tribute to Vietnam Veterans. The next half was a four movement selection titled ‘Quiet Heroes-A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers of Iwo Jima’ by Chris Brubeck. The narrated opus was performed with the help of Wilford Brimley, yes that Wilford Brimley. He is famous for his appearances on ‘The Walton’s’, the grandpa figure of the Quaker Oat commercials, spokesperson for Liberty Mutual Insurance, and the American Diabetic Association. He is also a Marine veteran. The orchestra gave musical life to the story of the six Marines that hoisted the flag on Mt. Suribachi that became the world famous WWII photograph leading to a huge bronze statue honoring Marines in Washington D.C. The 84-year-old’s voice was familiar and still strong except a few spots where he, himself, was choked up by the narration. Sometimes the music overpowered Brimley, but you were able to follow the storyline. After playing Lowden’s Armed Forces Salute, where members of a particular branch stood when their division’s service song was played, the concert ended with an encore of John Phillip Sousa’s ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’. A spirited piccolo solo was a highlight of the piece. On a scale of one to five of my “How Do You Like Those Apples” rating, I’d give it almost 4 apples.