A Memorial Day event — Monticello chorus Rotunda concert

Monticello, the Mid-Missouri men’s chorus, presents a free Memorial Day concert in the Capitol Rotunda called “A Salute to Fallen Heroes and Living Veterans.”

The group’s news release said the singers want the audience to leave the 3 p.m. concert on May 27 “remembering the true significance of a holiday that was started to remember those who died in the Civil War.”

But over the years, many families have made it a holiday to remember all those ancestors who have died, regardless of their military service.

Among the selections in Monday’s program is Kurt Bestor’s “Prayer of the Children” — chosen long before this week’s tragedy in Oklahoma but, the group said in the news release, “seems particularly appropriate this Memorial Day in light of the events in Oklahoma that are in the news and on our minds.”

Also being remembered this year are “the innocent victims injured or killed in Boston.”

Another selection will be “Oh Captain, My Captain,” based on Walt Whitman’s poem about Abraham Lincoln.

It’s included in the program as a reminder of the 150th anniversary in November of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Monday afternoon’s program includes the Liberte Women’s Ensemble, directed by Carol Beach.

Monticello’s choral director is Cindy McClain, who has taught and directed music at the high school and college levels, including director of music and fine arts coordinator at Fulton’s Westminster College from 2004-08.

Bill Lehman, organist for First Methodist Church and chorus director for the Show-Me Showboaters Barbershop group, is Monticello’s accompanist and associate director.

In the past, the Monticello Memorial Day concert has attracted a mix of local residents “there to honor a living relative, or one of those who have died either recently, or on a field of battle far away,” and tourists who have stopped to visit the Capitol and are there as the concert begins.

“We are pleased to sing for both our local fans and our visitors,” the group said in its release.

Carl Beach will end the program playing “Taps,” a tune he played many times while stationed with the Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force Base, near Omaha.

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