In the midst of making long-weekend plans—and praying the weather gods bring back the sun—we (myself included) often overlook the true purpose of Memorial Day: to honor and remember those who died while serving our country. Mark this important day with Colorado Remembers, a daylong program at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora on Saturday, May 23. The honorary event includes re-enactors setting up a WWII camp, a special ceremony specifically honoring WWII vets (2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of that war), and an evening concert by Sound of the Rockies, Denver Brass, and the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.
Sound of the Rockies may not have quite as long a history as our country and its military, but the group’s story is still pure Americana. Started in the 1940s, the men’s chorus is a subchapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. “Barbershop music is one of the only true American art forms,” says Mike Davidson, vice president of marketing and PR and a baritone singer for the group. Combining elements of ragtime and jazz, the 130-member a cappella chorus performs locally and in regional and international competitions (SOTR is currently ranked fourth in the world). And in the tradition of fathers passing on trades to their sons, there are a number of father-son duos in the chorus, including Davidson and his dad. “I’ve been in the group since I was six years old,” Davidson says. Nowadays, the chorus is a fun opportunity to continue growing his passion and also an outlet to relieve workday stress.
At the special Saturday event, the group will perform well-known patriotic songs, as well as a new commissioned work entitled “1776 Overture” with the Denver Brass. Remember and thank the fallen with them.
Details: The Colorado Remembers concert begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, rain or shine. It’s free to attend. (The full program begins at 10 a.m.) Sound of the Rockies always welcomes new members. The group rehearses on Thursdays at 7 p.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Littleton. SOTR’s next performance is its annual Summer Spectacular, which will be held on June 21 at the University of Denver’s Newman Center.