2022 will be the third year of putting on our Veterans Weekend concert, War & Peace. According to statistics for the years 2016-2020 provided on the US Census Bureau website, 28,472 veterans live in Horry County, South Carolina. This equates to close to eight percent of our overall population. The idea of for War & Peace was born from the desire to reach the veterans in our community and provide them with a performance that honors their time served.
Long-time LBS patron and supporter, Joanne Milnor, first came up with the idea for a War & Peace concert a few years ago after she attended a League of American Orchestras conference as a member of the symphony’s Board of Directors. One workshop that stood out to her involved the idea of Audience Development. The workshop leader asked the attendees who in their communities could be better served by the work of symphony. Joanne immediately thought of the veteran population living along the Grand Strand. This was the seed that ultimately grew into the War & Peace concert series that we put on today.
I asked Joanne what songs she had in mind when she envisioned this concert taking place. “My mind was flooded with possible songs to be included in the concert program,” she said. “I started with songs like Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, then Battle Hymn of the Republic—my senior class song in high school—and songs from the Andrew Sisters during the WWII period. Pretty much every war has songs associated with the conflict. Charles has done a great job including songs from many wars and conflicts across our history, and each year has inspired us with his selections. Adding to that, the ‘presentation of the colors’ by our local VFWs has been inspiring.”
We’ve seen countless veterans and their families as well as people from the general public attend the various performances for this concert series. Undoubtedly, every year, it is such a special scene to witness so many patrons singing along to America’s most famous songs and waving American flags to the rhythm of the pieces played. This concert provides a way for us to connect to the history of our country as well as pay tribute to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving it.
“There is music that defines every era of history and every country/civilization or world power,” she said. “Music provides a sense of nationalism and identity.”
To read more about Joanne’s thoughts on growing up during the era of World War II, please follow the link to an article she wrote for Grand Strand Magazine in 2019: https://grandstrandmag.com/feature/memories_of_world_war_ii_through_the_eyes_of_a_child
We hope to see you this weekend at one (or all) of our War & Peace performances. Remember, admission is $10 for the general public and completely free for veterans!
First United Methodist Church in Conway, SC – November 12 at 3:00PM
First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach, SC – November 13 at 2:00PM
Our Lady Star of the Sea in North Myrtle Beach, SC – November 13 at 6:00PM