Bernstein – 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. – To Make Us Proud (Finale) (by Romanov76110)

Bernstein and Lerner did not close their musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the disillusionment of “American Dreaming.” Instead, the actors come to realize that they love America despite its many flaws and challenges, and sing of the need for love to be the basis of America’s pride. This lovely finale later resurfaced as Bernstein’s “Olympic Hymn”.

Leonard Bernstein-“American Dreaming” from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Bernstein – 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. – American Dreaming (by Romanov76110)

Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner created the very operatic musical “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” as a celebration for the Bicentennial in 1976. With financial backing by Coca-Cola, fans expected a celebratory work, but instead encountered a somber and somewhat bitter work about the difference between America’s philosophy and its actual practice. Reviewers at the time proclaimed it a failure, and Bernstein soon withdrew it, using portions of it in the Slava! overture, the Songfest and the Divertimento for Orchestra. For many, little of the wonderful music of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be heard until the recording of the heavily-cut White House Cantata of the late 1990’s. But much great music was excised from the cantata, including this powerful and cynical excerpt, in which the characters playing the American presidents and the White House’s main servant express a disillusionment and bitterness that seems to be pulled right from this year’s electorate. Although the Bernstein estate does not allow performances of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there are signs that this musical might not have been “impossible” or “problematic”, simply ahead of its time.

#038 Fairley High School Drumline (by jdoggtn7)

The Fairley High School drumline leads the band out of J.P. Freeman Stadium after the Whitehaven game Saturday night, 8/25/12

#037 Whitehaven High School Band Give Me Your Love (by jdoggtn7)

Whitehaven High School’s band performs Curtis Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love” at J. P. Freeman Stadium in Memphis, 8/25/12

#032 Whitehaven High School Band (by jdoggtn7)

Whitehaven High School’s band performs after the football game at J. P. Freeman Stadium in Memphis, 8/25/12

#030 Whitehaven High School Drumline (by jdoggtn7)

The Whitehaven drummers play another cadence in response to Fairley’s drumline at J. P. Freeman Stadium in Memphis, 8/25/12

#029 Fairley High School Drumline (by jdoggtn7)

The Fairley High School drumline plays a cadence back at Whitehaven at J. P. Freeman Stadium in Memphis, 8/25/12

#028 Whitehaven High School Drumline (by jdoggtn7)

The Whitehaven High School drumline plays a cadence toward the Fairley stands at J. P. Freeman stadium in Memphis, 8/25/12

#026 Fairley High School Band (by jdoggtn7)

The Fairley High School band plays at the end of halftime at J. P. Freeman stadium in Memphis, 8/25/12