by Karl Hitzemann
Mount Rushmore is located among the majestic beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota. It's part of our National Parks system and is one of the most recognizable monuments in America, visited by nearly three million people each year. Mount Rushmore brings visitors face to face with the rich heritage we all share.
To honor this incredible monument, we have created the song "Mount Rushmore." The lyrics hint at various facts about the monument, and there is also a section where each of the honored presidents' names is spoken (in the order they appear on the mountain). The song builds to a stirring finale as it breaks into two vocal parts. The second vocal part is optional, of course. If you wish to use it, we have created an isolated rehearsal version that you can find on our web site. (See page 75 for details.)
The accompaniment has a sort of folksy/majestic sound. It features a rhythm section with orchestra, and a trumpet solo beautifully played by John Rommel. It will make for a very moving moment in just about any concert setting. To add to a performance, you could put together a really nice PowerPoint® presentation that includes many images and views of this famous monument.
The options here are plenty. There is so much interesting history to discuss and learn. When was the monument started? Who designed it? How long did it take to complete? What does the monument represent? Why these four presidents in particular? And so on. It is such an important part of our history. There are many books written about Mount Rushmore, and a wealth of information is available online. The best site we came across is from the National Park Service (www.nps.gov/moru). There you will find lots of information, facts, and pictures. There are even special sections for teachers and for kids.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.