In his 17 years of teaching at Fort Hays State University, Terry Crull has taken choral groups all around the country – and beyond – to perform.
Each one is special, but Crull, director of choral activities, admits the trip his students are taking to Hawaii this week is one for the ages.
The FHSU Singers, a 26-member premier ensemble, will sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the 80th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of U.S. naval forces at Pearl Harbor. An entourage of nearly 100 people will be on hand to watch the singers perform at 8:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. Central time) at the Aviation Museum near the USS Arizona Memorial.
The FHSU group will sing several patriotic and gospel songs popular in the 1940s.
Music Celebrations International, a tour company that has booked several trips for FHSU in the past, contacted Crull and asked Fort Hays State to represent Kansas at the event.
A Hays floral shop, Flowers by Frances, designed and donated a Sunflower Memorial Wreath for a fundraiser for the trip.
Donors – no matter how large or how small the donation – could request a service member’s name from any branch of U.S. military service, living or deceased, to be written on one of the wreath’s petals. Crull said that more than 400 names adorn the wreath, which will hang on permanent display in the Kansas section of the Visitor’s Center at Pearl Harbor.
Crull scheduled three other performances for his students on the trip. They sang at a church worship service Sunday and were to perform at an outdoor concert in Honolulu Monday night and near the USS Bowfin, a submarine that fought in the Pacific war during World War II, on Wednesday.