Alessandra Marc and the IBIS Chamber Music Society performed Friday night to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience in Alexandria, VA, to honor the heroes of Flight 93. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial amphitheater provided a graceful and intimate setting for those gathered for the concert to recognize and pay tribute to the ultimate courage and amazing actions that make for the stories and lives of those closest to September 11th’s Flight 93.
The musical selections elegized the past sacrifices and the continuing national efforts to remember and grow from the loss of September 11. To capture the enduring American spirit, IBIS played Amazing Grace, Samuel Barber, Tchaikovsky, as well as several English folk songs. Alessandra Marc sang Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the Shaker spiritual “Simple Gifts,” an exciting mix of music and performers—a perfect message of perseverance and fortitude.
After the performance, donors and audience members met the musicians. Several audience members are avid students of music. One such fan, Ted Kerrick, is studying for a Master’s at the Catholic University of America. “The honorable experience was nothing short of spectacular. The Great Architect has blessed these artists with so much,” says Mr. Kerrick of the evening with Ms. Marc and the IBIS Chamber Music Society.
Alessandra Marc’s participation in the events of the evening added an up-lifting energy to the program, which was both inspiring, but also befitting the memory of those honored. She and IBIS moved the listener’s to their feet in a standing ovation.
All proceeds from the evening support the Flight 93 National Memorial located in Shanksville, PA. The National Park Foundation, the National Park Service’s partner in fundraising, is hoping to raise $10 million by the end of the year, according to USA Today’s Martha T. Moore reporting before the dedication ceremony. The memorial’s cost could be $72 million, with monies coming from the Federal government, the state of Pennsylvania, and private donations.
The evening was made possible by the generous gifts of its sponsors, including the musicians and several Masonic organizations, some of which were the GW Masonic Memorial, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia and its constituent lodges, and the Buchly Fund. The Flight 93 National Memorial will continue to need the help and support of friends and patriots alike. Donations may continue to be given by visiting www.honorflight93.org.
The Flight 93 Concert is one of many partnerships between IBIS and local DC-based charities and other private organizations. Last October, for example, with the Admiral Richard E. Byrd Foundation, IBIS performed at the Belmont Mansion, with proceeds benefiting the MusicLink Foundation.
The IBIS Chamber Music Society was founded by Jospeh Scheer of the Boston POPS Esplanade Orchestra and Susan Robinson, who is the principal harpist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. The group’s upcoming events are described online.
By Bro. Kevin Fries