(Riverton, WY) “Being patriotic doesn’t mean that you think your country’s perfect, just that you love it.” An entertaining variety of music, stories, and vintage, war-time vignettes delighted the audience at CWC’s “A Veterans Day Concert” at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theater on Veterans Day last Saturday evening.
Emceed by Toni West and Ron Howard, the program began with the Colorguard, the Pledge of Allegiance delivered by Jordan Yager (accompanied by a short history of each version by the emcees), and the National Anthem sung by Chuck Rodgers. There was then a musical tribute to all the members of the Armed Forces, where they stood and were recognized when the song of their branch of the military was played.
Stephanie Logan of Quilts of Valor presented quilts to U.S. Army veterans Ron Howard and Matthew Hartman.
“A Quilt of Valor is one that is made specifically for a service member or a veteran to be awarded to them to honor, comfort, and say ‘thank you’,” Logan said. “It’s considered by our group as a civilian purple heart. We know that not everybody who comes back has physical wounds that we can see. What we know is there are other wounds that we can’t see…and so these quilts are to honor all veterans and all service members.”
The program continued with a series of short stories and musical performances that took the audience through a timeline of each war from the Revolutionary War to the Korean War. Tunes such as “Over There”, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “This is the Army, Mister Jones”, “How About a Cheer for the Navy”, “I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen” and more favorites were performed by The Vivid Freedom Concert Choir, Let Freedom Sing Student Choir, Seeds of Freedom Children’s Choir and the Time’s A Wastin’ Jazz Ensemble.
A tap dance was performed by Madison Orr while the CWC Jazz Band played “American Patrol”. The jazz band also played the theme from the popular TV series, M*A*S*H. Sam Tower gave a heart-rending performance of “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.” Bart Ringer recited his poem “The Veteran”, accompanied on guitar by Sam Tower.
There was also an audience sing-along of America the Beautiful, Battle Hymn of the Republic, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and God Bless America.
“Music creates a sense of community…community we have right here. A kind patriotism nurtures a sense of togetherness and common purpose. These songs serve as tributes to the rich heritage, culture, and spirit of a nation.”
Upcoming performances of the CWC Theater Department will be Peter Pan showing from March 14 through 18th, and the Rustler Review 2024 on April 12 & 13. For more information and updates, visit cwc.edu or visit CWC’s Facebook page.