Within days of Japan’s December 7, 1941 attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, a diverse, often contentious, and isolationist-leaning nation still in the depths of the Great Depression came together in united purpose and finally entered the global war that had at that point been raging around it for almost two years. The singularity, universality and ultimate effectiveness of that resolve is legendary, as was its especial spirit. Certainly, there was a degree of outrage at the enemy, and of patriotic fervor. But what stood out among the American people during those 4 years of war was a national spirit in the face of adversity that was unusual, before or since, in its blend of quiet determination, good will, and hope. Carl Sandburg, writing about a new Irving Berlin song in his Chicago Times column in December, 1942, expressed it, perhaps, best of all:
"We have learned to be a little sad and a little lonesome without being sickly about it. This feeling is caught in the song of a thousand juke boxes and the tune whistled in streets and homes. “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” When we sing that, we don’t hate anybody. And there are things we love that we’re going to have sometime if the breaks are not too bad against us. Way down under this latest hit of his, Irving Berlin catches us where we love peace."
The 25th annual Oregon Festival of American Music celebrates the role that popular entertainment played during World War II in capturing and nurturing this spirit. That effort was massive, complex, and markedly well-organized as individual entertainers, the entertinment industry, and the government worked together to marshal the resolve and bolster the morale of our armed forces throughout the world and of the folks back home. This August 9-13, Festival Music Director Jesse Cloninger and company explore that extraordinary concerted effort through the music, entertainment and good cheer of bond drives, canteens, camp shows, radio programs, recordings, and film.
Please join us!
Oregon Festival of American Music 2016 includes 5 evening and 3 matinee concerts, an all-new production of the 1944 musical On The Town, films, lectures and community events.
Tickets are on sale now at The Shedd Institute Ticket Office at 541-434-7000 or 868 High Street, MF 9-6 pm and Sat 9-noon. Ask about our OFAM 2016 package discounts!!