A midstate soldier's dream comes true, seven decades later - abc27 WHTM

A midstate soldier's dream comes true, seven decades later

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It's more than a beautiful tune with a 1940's flavor. It's the completion of a young man's dream from seven decades ago.

"The minute I saw it, my musical mind said: 'Boy! This is a song with a lot of potential, both in terms of very meaningful lyrics and the implied harmonies," said DR. Truman Bullard, Professor Emeritus of Music, Dickinson College.

That's why music professor Truman Bullard accepted Jane E'del's challenge: Finish and arrange a love song to her mother, begun by her late father while a prisoner of war in Germany.

"At one point," said Jane E'Del, " I know my father said to me: 'I wish I could hear some of the things that I wrote when I was in prison camp."

Using lyrics scribbled by her dad on scraps of paper, and notes from a worn music sheet, Dr. Bullard brought to life a song that Lt. Ralph E'del wrote from his heart in 1943.

"I gave it quite a bit of time, said Bullard, " flushing out the harmonies and thinking of ways in which we could make it sound the way he probably heard it, sitting in that POW camp."

Ralph E'del a was a self-taught piano player who learned to write music during his 19 months of captivity. After his death in 1984, the completed work was recorded by Dr. Bullard and Jane for her mom's 80th birthday. Jane sang for the session, but admits to being much more comfortable as principal french horn player with the Central Pennsylvania Symphony. And, Jane's musical tribute to her dad expanded recently when Dr. Bullard arranged a full symphony version of the song, again with Jane providing the vocal. It premiered as part of the symphony's "Proud to Be an American" concert that was held November 4, 2012 at the Forum Building in Harrisburg.

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