Annual Choral Veterans Tribute


On Thursday, November 8, the Blackman Chorus performed an appreciation for the men and women who have served for our country. 

I had a Q&A with Mrs. Wendy Payne, conductor of the choir, to get her input of the event: 

Why is honoring our military so important? 

“Firstly, I have close family who are currently active military and family members who are veterans.  Hearing their stories and seeing how their experiences has shaped their lives is incredible.  I can’t imagine what must go through their minds as they selflessly do their jobs in and out of harm’s way.  The courage and the grit required is admirable and inspiring.  I have seen my father, who was career Navy, light up when someone has thanked him for his service and when someone has asked for a sea story.  I have also witnessed the physical and mental battle wounds experienced by my brother from his six years in the Marine Corp during the 2nd Gulf War.  The most heartfelt stories come from those who are my grandparents’ age and experienced WWII and Korea.  One of my grandfathers designed planes and the other flew and navigated bomber planes and experimental planes.  I think about where we are today and think about how much of that was influenced by the courageous people who were willing to risk everything to make a difference.  As a young person I was not as appreciative as I could have been of my grandfathers and their contributions, but now as an adult and having seen through my own eyes their contributions, I wish I had thanked them more and spent more time hearing their stories.”

How do you feel about continuing this tradition at BHS?  

“I think that it is important to honor and thank the people who have served their time in our military.  I don’t necessarily agree with all the political decisions that are made regarding the military, but I want to show my respect to the ones who put their lives on the line and do their job.  Here at BHS, we are all busy doing what we must to do our jobs and get the test scores and respond to all the emails and go to the athletic events, etc. etc. So, I considered if I can make the time to teach songs that are patriotic and meaningful and instill in my students that this isn’t huge, but maybe it will make a veteran feel appreciated.”