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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

The “Star-Spangled Banner” Turns 200

The National Anthem of the United States, The Star-Spangled Banner, turns 200 this year.  In commemoration of the auspicious national anniversary, the American Choral Directors Association, in partnership with the Star Spangled Music Foundation, is planning a nation-wide celebration of our national anthem on Friday, September 12, 2014.
 
On that day, singers throughout the U.S. will be asked to sing the National Anthem and discuss both its history and the work’s significance to our country.  A variety of commentaries and instructional materials are being prepared to elevate the discussion.  Numerous other special events are planned and ACDA is also planning to feature the Star Spangled Banner during the various divisional conferences scheduled for 2014.
 
(The accompanying photograph depicts the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem.  The flag is among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.)
on January 9, 2014 2:21pm
I'm sure I will not be alone, but this inspires me to renovate/resurrect my own arrangement of the anthem, done for the Alabama Sports Festival ceremonies way back c. 1980's ... for soloist, SATB div & orchestra (and later a band version). --- It will include no scat singing or other melismatic wildness (therefore probably won't be featured at the SuperBowl or certain other sporting events, ironically!) ... just some neat chord twists, including the seldom-performed verse ("O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand...") for unaccompanied voices, and a flashy ending with the whole entourage!  WooHoo!!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 15, 2014 6:08pm
For all ages, I recommend the artist Peter Spier's wonderful picture book The Star Spangled Banner, originally published in 1973 by Random House.  It has beautiful, large pictures, one to a page, each illustrating the action described in successive phrases of the song; a photo of Key's original cursive writing and another of the receipt to Mary Pickersgill for the sewing of the flag (30 x 42', $405.90); a piano and voice setting by J. Stafford Smith (1750-1836) in Bb; a four page spread of paintings of 100 historic flags; a map and three pages of adult level historical text.  Also, National Geographic has on their website information and photos of the conservation of the flag at the Smithsonian, and published an article in the magazine in the early 2000s.
Applauded by an audience of 1