Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Challenge of Music Reveal Day

Tresures Found
I was are so happy to sign up for Erin's Challenge of Music.  Mom and I participated in one of her color challenges; I thought this challenge would be a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, sickness and injury took mom and I out for the most of February.  I still wanted us to participate, so I asked Erin if I could do something a little bit different and she agreed.

I knew this was going to be a difficult challenge because I like so many different songs: but none of the songs really speak to me, except one.  I feel like this song has been with me my whole life.  I remember mom teaching us the song in Brownies when we were military dependants (even in sign language). I remembering hearing it played while I was in the military.  It was played at both my grandfathers' funerals.  This song has a lot of meaning to me and other military soldiers/veterans and their families around the world.  It is called "Taps".

via Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva
I learned a lot doing research for my final ceramics project while taking classes at Purdue.  I learned the United States military is unique when using Taps because the call is sounded at funerals, wreath-laying and memorial services. (Taps)

via Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva

Taps also has deep meaning for me because during my time at Fort Riley, our company was on funeral detail for a week.  The men were the pall bearers and the women were the firing squad.  I remember practicing for hours and hours.

via Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva
Our first funeral for a military veteran was in rural  Kansas.  There was a tent set up for the family and the firing squad was located behind the tent.  We did our 21 Gun Salute and then the bugle started to play.  One by one, down the line, each woman started to cry.  None of us had a dry eye, so it was a good thing we were located behind the tent.  I have to say the week of funeral detail was the most honorable duty I have ever performed.  We were there for those families and to honor the passing of that military veteran.  I will never forget that part of my military career.

Sorry for the poor quality of the images.  This was before I learned more about taking photographs and currently the plates are in a display case and the top plate is in a box somewhere.  For my final ceramics project, I wanted to depict "Taps".  I threw 21 plates and painted the lyrics on the plates and one plate was the image of the words before the 21 Gun Salute.  You would not believe how many plates I threw to get the 21 plates that were about the same size (needless to say it was a lot of throwing).  It was a little tedious drawing out the score on each plate, painting the plate, glazing and then firing.

Still, this project needs more work to get it to where I want it.  I tried to find my critique paper my professor and I wrote up because I wanted to share our thoughts, but alas, it was been over a year since the critique, and I am not sure what I have done with it.  I really want to take another ceramics class so I can get this project perfect and take it to the next level.  I think this illustrates how much "Taps" means to me and what military personnel feel when they hear the song.
If you don't know the lyrics to "Taps" here it is.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.
via: Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva

Here is the list of the participants in the challenge.

Erin Prais-Hintz


  1. What a powerful post. Thank you.

  2. WOW you really touched my heart girlfriend. Being a granddaughter and niece of outstanding military men I truly have tears. Thank you!

  3. Oh, what a wonderful tribute to an incredible song. Those plates are just so moving...

  4. When I was in the military, I heard taps sung for the first time. It wrenched my heart.

  5. I have heard Taps many times, but never knew the lyrics, nor did I even know there were lyrics. Thank you for sharing this, and for sharing the lovely plates you made.

  6. Of course Taps is so moving - the plates are wonderful. What a moving interpretation of the song!

  7. Sad and Beautiful...I have never seen a dry eye when Taps is played.

  8. Sorry that you weren't able to do a wearable, hope you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  9. Really moving to hear the story of loss from this perspective. What an interesting way to create this same feeling visually. xoxo Beth

  10. I first learned Taps in Brownies too but didn't really "feel" the song until I was older and heard it played on a bugel/trumpet. Thank you for sharing this unexpected song and the beautiful plates with us. I hope you and your mom feel better soon.

  11. Oh goodness, thank you for sharing. So beautiful, those plates are incredible! And I am in tears lol. Navy brat, so this tribute means a lot. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. A beautiful tribute to taps. I hope you are able to get the project to the point you would like it to be. Either way, it is quite lovely and unique!

  13. Beautiful Beth, My Dad was in the Air Force and I learned Taps when we were living in Germany I was a Brownie in the Girl Scouts. Taps is always the most touching when played at a funeral and none more so then when I heard it played at my Dad's funeral. Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful plates that you made to represent the loved song.

  14. Miss Beth, this is one moving tribute! I really did not realize that there was lyrics to this song! Isn't that the darnedest thing? The story of your participating in the 21 gun salute is very moving. And what a great idea for a set of plates. I can see these displayed someplace, like a veterans home, a military base someplace that would really understand the power of this music. I am glad that you could still participate in this Challenge of Music. Thank you! Enjoy the day. Erin

  15. I'm sorry that you had to deal with injury and illness during February! I'm glad you found a way to participate in the challenge, though -- Taps is a very moving song, and I really like it translated to ceramics.

    It was played at my own grandfather's funeral, now that I think about it.

  16. Oh I hear ya! February must be the month that the bionic germ bugs come out in full force! I remember singing this song at the end of each Brownie meeting too! Never in a million years would I have thought of that if not for your post! Feel better:)

  17. What a touching post, thank you for sharing this with us!

  18. Your creation is very special and honors the time you served. I think your plates are quite an honor to those who have passed also.


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