“Of Marion We Sing!” to benefit Historical Society, Harding Home

From Florence Harding’s favorite song to rousing, toe-tapping marches, an upcoming concert will celebrate Marion in song, while supporting two important anchors of the history community.

“Of Marion We Sing!” is scheduled for 7 p.m., April 10, 2018 at the River Valley High School Auditorium. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older, and free for those 11 and younger. Proceeds benefit the Marion County Historical Society and the Harding Home Presidential Site.

Some of the tunes were written for Warren G. Harding’s famous front porch campaign in 1920, as a means of rallying the huge crowds that poured into Marion. A Marion County man, W. Reginald Carr of Caledonia, contributed one of the campaign songs, “Rah! Rah! Rah! For Warren G. Harding,” which will be performed. Several marches also were written in Harding’s honor, including the “Harding of Marion March,” penned by Marion resident Bertram Myers. Several of the songs were newly arranged by longtime music educator Rick Baird.

To reflect the 1917 Marion community’s involvement in social issues, local vocalist Dustin Rawlins will present a pair of prohibition-era tunes, which had specially written lyrics sung to well-known music. The audience will be provided the lyrics, so can join in to urge Ohio to go dry.

“Good Old Marion Town” was a signature song of the 1922 Marion Centennial and was written by an enthusiastic resident, Dick Bruun, who had moved to Marion just that year. Changing pace, the 1923 death of President Harding is acknowledged with the poignant song, “Laddie Boy, He’s Gone.” Mrs. Harding’s favorite song, “The End of a Perfect Day,” will be presented by Jenny Collins Evans and Rawlins, along with Merrill Cooper on keyboard, C. Gary Iams on cello and Louise Vance on violin. The Marion Concert Band, directed by Bill Swihart, will wrap up the program with a dazzling rendition of “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” which the U.S. Marine Band used as its closer during the Harding years in Washington, D.C.

Attendees will have the opportunity to order audio CDs of the program for $12.50, or DVDs of the concert for $18.50. If ordered at the same time, the recordings can be purchased in a set for $28. The recordings may also be ordered from the Marion County Historical Society website, www.marionhistory.com; or from the Harding Home website at www.hardinghome.org.

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