Then the 2019 Freedom Fest Patriotic Sing is perfect for you! The 31ST annual Freedom Fest Patriotic Sing will be held on Wednesday, July 3rd from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center. Our 2019 performance will reflect Freedom Fest’s Theme this year, “Sing the Songs of America.” Our chorus and audience will honor members of our Armed Forces who have served our country in the past as well as those courageous men and women who are currently serving in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
The Patriotic Sing features elementary school-aged children from Morgan Hill and San Martin. The original goal of the Patriotic Sing was to teach the words of beloved Patriotic songs to children. While teaching first grade at Westwings Elementary School on Vandenberg Air Force Base, I witnessed patriotism daily.
As a school, we would raise and lower the American flag as one of the 6th grade students served as a bugler. Each day, Patriotic songs would fill the hallways. In 1970, when I moved to San Jose and began teaching, I was astonished that the children in my first grade class did not know the words to “God Bless America”, or “America the Beautiful”. This revelation, for me, was life-changing.
In 1989, two Morgan Hill residents, Dr. Ronald Mackley and Hal Hendrickson, decided to return to that tradition. The Sing returned, as a way to teach the treasured songs of our country to our community’s children. And, on its return, the Sing was held on the eve of the 4th of July and continues so today.
Soon the chorus members knew the words to our traditional songs and once again, the Sing reinvented itself. During the past several years, the Sing has become a way for our community’s children to understand and honor the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces members. Over the past thirty, I have had the gift of watching the evolution of the Sing. We now have second-generation chorus members!
In 2015, the Sing changed once again. We moved our performance to the Morgan Hill Community Cultural Center Amphitheater. Families and friends enjoyed our new venue. It was the perfect place to celebrate a home-town 4th of July. This year, we will return to the CCC on Tuesday, July 3rd, at 6 p.m.
17000 Monterey Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Please join us at this year’s Patriotic Sing. Plan to rekindle your patriotism as you listen to the songs of “America, Our Home Sweet Home.” We hope you enjoy this year’s Sing. Here, you’ll see the faces of our future. Those faces show respect, enthusiasm, pride, and a spirit of patriotism as we sing the songs of America and honor those who serve.
Rehearsal Dates and Times
May 28, Britton Gym - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
June 4, Britton Gym - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
June 11, Britton Gym - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
June 18, Community Cultural Center - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
June 25, Community Cultural Center - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
July 2, Dress Rehearsal, Community Cultural Center - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
July 3RD: 31TH ANNUAL PATRIOTIC SING 6 TO 7 p.m. Community Cultural Center
Because we need to have sizes for our chorus T-shirts, chorus members should plan to attend at least one of our first two rehearsals. Remember, Morgan Hill Pony Baseball may be playing on the Britton fields and parking may be a challenge. Be patient and be prepared to walk a bit.
Every participating child must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for him/her. PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF ANY CHILD AND LEAVE HIM/HER UNATTENDED. If you carpool to practice, please make sure a responsible adult remains with the children.
At our rehearsals, we will be collecting items to be sent to our deployed troops. We will learn about various support groups which serve our Armed Forces members. Guests of Honor will include members of our Armed Forces, Veterans, “Blue Star Moms” and alumni chorus members who are now serving our country.
With the support of the Blue Star Moms, our donations of batteries, socks, and other items on the soldier’s wish list, are delivered in “Care Packages” to deployed soldiers. At the Sing, members of our audience and chorus are encouraged to write a note of encouragement to our deployed soldiers. During the year, we also sing at Morgan Hill’s annual Veterans’ and Memorial Day Ceremonies.
In March, students in Morgan Hill’s public and private schools were encouraged to enter our Freedom Fest Essay Contest. Our Topic? “If you could take a trip to any of America’s National Monuments, Historic Sites, or National Parks, where would you go and why?”
346 students began choosing, researching, and writing about a myriad of different places. Our entries highlighted the wealth of America’s parks, national monuments, and historic sites available to us. Children wrote about traveling to places they had only read about in books or seen on TV. Youngsters wrote and submitted essays about travelling to places like Arlington National Cemetery, Pearl Harbor, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, the 9/11 Memorial, Alcatraz, and Muir Woods, to name a few.
In April, our team of dedicated judges had the difficult task of choosing winners in our two divisions: Children in 2nd and 3rd Grades (Primary) and Children in Grades 4th and 5th (Intermediate).
As the chairperson of this contest, I am so fortunate to be able to read each and every one of our essays. It has been my gift to be able to see the world through the eyes of a child. Students realize the importance of our national treasures and many understand the concept that they are the ones who will be responsible to maintain and protect our environment and our historic sites.
Every public school was represented in our essay entries. Walsh S.T.E.A.M. Academy submitted the largest number of entries with Nordstrom a close second. Of course, we had entries from home-schoolers and from children who attend our community’s private schools.
Many of the essays were submitted with pictures of the park or historic site attached. Not only did our youngsters learn about their park, but they also “saw” the park while doing their research. We thank our young authors and their teachers for taking the time to share their thoughts with us. These youngsters learned about and visited so many places in America – if only on paper.