CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

September 6, 2011

Flight of Valor: Honoring United Airlines Flight 93 Victims

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

FLIGHT OF VALOR:

HONORING UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 93 VICTIMS

Scene of Flight 93 crash viewed from a side road

As the Somerset County Community Band approached its fifteenth anniversary occurring in 2004, its board discussed commissioning a celebratory piece of music. Then the United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in their “back yard.” The band’s board changed its focus on the commission from its anniversary to commemoration of the 9/11 event. In 2002 they commissioned James Swearingen, from Capital University in Ohio, to compose the piece. Swearingen based his composition on a well-known hymn, It is Well with my Soul.*

It was in this darkness that the Community Band played Flight of Valor, which received a standing ovation.**

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     Jim Swearingen, a music professor, always wanted to create a composition around one of his favorite hymns, It is Well with my Soul. However, he was waiting for the right circumstance and setting.

Jim recognized that this hymn as a hymn of choice that is universally accepted during a period of grieving. “It has provided me comfort during these times.”

Then David Breen called him, asking if he would be interested in (more…)

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