What shall be our legacy? What will our children say?

Honestly, I try not to talk politics on my blog (I have Facebook for that), but if you read between the lines, you know what I believe.

Yesterday was something.

And I really don’t know what to say about it.

So I’m going to share my favorite patriotic song, American Anthem by Gene Scheer. This piece was composed for mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves to sing with the Marine Band back in 1998 at the Smithsonian Institute for President Bill Clinton. She sang it at the 9/11 memorial ceremony at the National Cathedral and, most recently, at the funeral of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Denyce is on the faculty at Peabody Conservatory and she and I were in Rigoletto together at Washington Opera back in 1991. She was making her debut there as Maddalena, and I was doing my first comprimario role as Countess Ceprano. I subsequently sang in the chorus when she sang the title roles of Carmen and Samson et Dalila (hint: she wasn’t Samson).

This is not the first time I’m sharing this. I actually wrote about this back on the 4th of July, 2020. When I shared it then, along with a recording by Nathan Gunn, I was feeling positive and patriotic. Today I’m trying to find that again, and hopefully, we all will, very soon.

So here is a recording of Denyce Graves singing this in 2016 at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. Laura Ward is at the piano. If you want to read the text, it’s in the 7/4 post as well. But there’s one line that resonates with me today:

What shall be our legacy? What will our children say?


Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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