The annual Midsummer Hymn Sing that Sam Galloway, Jr., puts together got a makeover this year. He wanted to prolong Independence Day, and the result was First Celebrates Freedom. The pews at First Presbyterian Church on Second Street in downtown Fort Myers were filled nearly to capacity.
The evening began with a procession down the center aisle of Lee County Guns and Hoses Pipes and Drums. Fort Myers Fire Department and Tice Fire District Color Guard presented the American flag. You have not heard “God Bless America” until you have heard it played by 11 pipers piping.
Soloists for the evening were Beth Filowich and Michael Broyles The Freedom Choir, made up the First’s own choir supplemented by additional singers, led the audience in many secular and sacred singalong pieces ranging from ”Yankee Doodle Dandy” to “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” They also gave a stirring rendition of Wilhousky’s oft-performed arrangement of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
A quartet of young men calling themselves The Shrugs brought the audience to its feet with two barbershop numbers.
Money raised at this event goes to the Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative Ministries. In keeping with the patriotic theme, Chief Executive Officer Tracey Galloway, Sam’s daughter-in-law, told about services her organization provides to veterans. The statistics she cited regarding homeless veterans were heartbreaking. Bravo to CCMI for all they do.
What a wonderful idea, what a wonderful cause, what a wonderful evening.