The Upsala/Swanville Area (USA) Community Chorus will present its 13th annual Veterans Day show Monday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Swanville School auditorium.
The 2013 show, in addition to continuing the Chorus’ commemoration of the 70th anniversary of World War II, which this year will feature some of the battles of 1943, will also include a salute to the United Services Organization (USO). The USO was founded in 1941 in response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. military personnel.
As part of the USO salute, the show will be followed by a dance featuring “Sizzlin’ Swing,” a big band that plays many 1940s-era swing tunes. The band will also perform as part of the show.
In addition to “Sizzlin’ Swing,” the show will feature several songs by the USA Community Chorus, which will be joined by the Collegiate Singers from St. Cloud State University, as well as solos by Dr. Thomas Speckhard and Maureen Putnam, both former members of and in Speckhard’s case, a former soloist with the U.S. Air Force’s “Singing Sergeants” and Fr. Michael Kellogg.
The event will also include performances by the Blivet Players and the USA Honor Squad, a military drill unit composed of third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students in the Swanville and Upsala School Districts.
The Blivet Players will do excerpts from “An Army at Dawn” (The Kasserine Pass disaster), “Bombing Schweinfurt,” from the wartime journal of Army Air Corps Major (later USAF Brigadier General), James M. Stewart, who, in civilian life, delighted movie-goers in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “Harvey,” among his nearly 100 movie, television and stage roles, “The USS Echo,” the only sailing ship in the U.S. Navy actively participating in combat in World War II and “Bloody Tarawa” from the wartime journal of Navy Lieutenant j.g. Edward A. Heimberger, better known to fans of classic movies and the 1960s sitcom “Green Acres,” as Eddie Albert.
Admission for the show and dance is $5. All current and former military personnel in uniform as well as members of the American Legion, the VFW and their auxiliaries wearing their organization hats, are admitted without charge.
All profits from the show are given to the music programs in the Swanville and Upsala Schools. The show and dance are made possible by grants from the Five Wings Arts Council with funds provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, The Laura Jane Musser Fund and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.