Music Education Week in Washington Event Celebrates Lincoln Bicentennial at Lincoln Memorial

MENC conducted its annual National Anthem Sing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on June 19. This year the participants sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

Under a brilliant blue sky, with music educators, students and parents gathered, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band performed classic patriotric music.

Broadway stage actor Timothy Shew emceed the program. Shew recently starred in a production of “The Civil War” at Washington, DC’s Ford’s Theater. (Book and lyrics for the play are by Frank Wildhorn, Gregory Boyd, and Jack Murphy.)

During the program, Shew reminded the audience that Lincoln was fatally shot at Ford’s Theater while watching a play. The commander-in chief, he said, sought out the arts as a respite from coping with the pressures of the Civil War.

Shew also told the audience that music teachers played a major role in nurturing his own musical talent and life skills.

MENC Executive Director John J. Mahlmann, Mrs. America Maureen MacDonald and MENC President Barbara L. Geer listen to Timothy Shew. 

Photo by Roz Fehr

Roz Fehr, June 20, 2009. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education