World War music with Arne Sahlen

Kimberley United Church, Tuesday, November 8, 7:30 p.m.

Join Arne Sahlen for a wartime songs concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. Kimberley United Church

Join Arne Sahlen for a wartime songs concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. Kimberley United Church

For the Bulletin

World Wars: Men, Women and Music, with Arne Sahlen, will take place Tuesday November 8, 7:30 pm at Kimberley United Church (by donation).

“To quote Biography on TV, every life has a story,” says Sahlen. For instance, Canada had its own ‘pre-Hope Bob Hope’ of both World Wars. Exploring a cache of war music in the estate of Wendy Weir Panattoni (in part from her piano teacher, Josephine Radcliffe Suart), Sahlén learned of Lt. Gitz Ingraham Rice. Wounded at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, he went on to compose music, create and appear in shows – and set up entertainment for up to 70,000 soldiers a week during WW I. After decades as an entertainer in USA, he did the same during WW II.

The rich trove of sheet music from both World Wars – some in new condition – includes songs both well-known and forgotten: Over There,  Lili Marlene, Johnny Canada, The White Cliffs of Dover, Remember Nurse Edith Cavell and more.  Many were inspired, created or performed in tragic or triumphant circumstances. Canada gave one of the world’s first memorials to honour the heroic Red Cross nurse Edith Cavell, shot by a German firing squad; a mountain near Jasper was named for her in 1916.  In both wars and afterward, movie stars and other celebrities sold Victory bonds, welcomed soldiers into their posh jomes, travelled on morale-boostong tours and more.

Many of our local citizens have their own powerful memories. Sahlen will tell of the late, beloved Kimberley couple Jack and Mimi Reynolds; he invites audience members to tell their own stories and bring display items.

“The times were gripping, the music is memorable, and the freedom gained must not be taken for granted,” exclaimed Sahlen.   For details contact arnesahlen@hotmail.com or 250-427-2159 (cell/text 250-540-4242)