Report on "The Fort & the Flag" by George Armistead

McHenryStampA Musical Journey to the
Battle of Baltimore
for High School Choir
by John Reim
Immanuel Lutheran High School

A composition for SATB choir and baritone solo, with optional accompaniment.

Goals and Objectives

Describe the learning outcomes and/or goals.

  1. To provide, in a musical setting, some of the original context for the composing of the United States national anthem.

Through the use of a sung narrative, the listener hears portions of the official report that the commander of Fort McHenry Major George Armistead sent to the Secretary of War regarding events which unfolded during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.  The excerpts from the report set the stage for a choral presentation of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” during which the final words of Armistead’s report are sung.  After concluding on a deceptive cadence (to convey the question mark with which the first stanza of the anthem ends) an additional choral phrase lands solidly on the tonic as it encases the last phrase from Key’s fourth stanza: “the banner in triumph doth wave!”
Materials Needed

  • Musical Score by John Reim
  • Chorus and baritone soloist
  • Optional instruments for accompaniment (see score)

This dramatization of Armistead’s report could be performed as part of a larger choral concert or in a school assembly celebrating the Anthem.
Teacher Guide (optional)
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Connect to state and/or national standards that your lesson plan addresses.
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About Banner Moments
Made available as part of the 2014 Banner Moments K-12 Institute—a project of the American Music Institute of the University of Michigan and the Star Spangled Music Foundation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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