The Annual Town Meeting on the proposed FY 2017-2018 Town budget is scheduled for Monday, May 1st at 7:30 pm in the Lyman Memorial High School Auditorium, 917 Exeter Rd (Route 207). Click here for proposed budget.
A Soldier’s Story Told in Music
On May 4, 2017, the GMChorale and Hartford Chorale, with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, will present the Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944 at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.
Letter from Italy, 1944 is a story for all soldiers in all wars who cope with PTSD. It is a true story about Doctor John Meneely, a Yale Medical School graduate and a regimental surgeon and combat medic in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. This oratorio brings to life the story of the Meneely family as their husband and father is trying to cope with his wartime psychological wounds – a love story of a soldier and his family.
John Meneely is born during a Vermont snowstorm as his loving father, “Jake” Meneely, sings to his newborn son (“Oh, the sweetie man, / . . . God is sleeping now, / The sweet little sweetie man. / Sleep thee, too, little man.”). As he grows into young manhood, John feels the sweetness of falling in love with his wife-to-be, Delia (“I know a land where roses bloom / and bluets mark their compass points /. . . This land I know within my heart / is lost unless you bring the chart.”).
At the outbreak of the war, John Meneely, now married with two daughters and newly graduated from Yale Medical School, is recruited into the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. He experiences the brutality of combat in the Aleutian Islands and in the mountains of central Italy, and suffers the devastation of losing friends and comrades to enemy gunfire (“What God (if God) / would leave me / with the wretched / thrill of gratitude / they died and I / persist.”).
When John returns to his family he brings with him the pain of his experiences, with what is now known as “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD). His family, recognizing the ache of his loss and confusion, are determined that what happened to him will not lessen the love and support they mutually share. Ultimately, John ends his own life, and Letter from Italy, 1944 concludes with Delia, his wife, singing of her undying love for him (“Sleep thee, too, little man. / And as we live, your one and three, / your world of love resides in me.”).
Letter from Italy, 1944 is timely as our nation strives to understand and address our veterans’ struggles with the emotional consequences of war, known as PTSD. View a preview of this production at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmzTF9RV24I&t=14s.
The performance will feature a combined chorus of 200 voices, orchestral accompaniment, and stage projections of photos of the family and the 10th Mountain Division’s heroic efforts in World War II. See www.hartfordchorale.org/letter-from-italy-1944 for details and tickets. Use discount code LFIVET for a 10% discount. Prices for groups of ten or more are discounted by 15% to 25%.
For a donation of $25, the name, rank and military branch of your designated veteran will be acknowledged and honored in a special commemorative document included with the program book. In addition, your name will be cited in the program book as a donor. Details and order information are available at http://www.hartfordchorale.org/letter-from-italy-1944-military-honor-roll/.