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The Tears of Arizona

(Pearl Harbor Remembered)
Brian Balmages
Grade: 1.5



Commissioned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this piece takes a unique approach and focuses on the small amounts of oil (often referred to as the "tears of Arizona") that continue to leak out of the USS Arizona. The music begins very solemnly, referring to the tears that continue to be shed daily by the sunken ship. The following section (“The Pride of Arizona”) moves past the tears and to the pride of the crew members and the feeling of the "spirit of Aloha." Percussion loosely imitates the groove of a luau, yet is juxtaposed with moments of pause and reflection. The final statement feels incomplete, reminding the audience that the tears have not stopped flowing. (2:30)

The Tears of Arizona
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