Tag Archives: Save The United States

New Symphonic Composition Inspired by SS United States Makes Waves at Abbey Road Studios

7 Sep

AlphaUSA is proud to support the restoration of the historic ocean liner SS United States, and the ship continues to fascinate.

The SS United States broke the speed record for Trans-Atlantic travel on her maiden voyage in 1952, earning the Blue Riband and the respect of the world. Now, composer Kenneth Fuchs debuts his recording “Atlantic Riband” as a tribute to the United States and the revered title she still holds. The piece was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra and earned a 5-star rating from BBC Music Magazine.  The Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform the piece for the first time tonight at a special concert in Newport News, Virginia, near the shipyard where the SS United States was built.

JoAnn Falletta Conducts the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Atlantic Riband. (Photo: K. Fuchs)

An engineering marvel, the beauty and sheer size of the SS United States is awe-inspiring.  In his youth, composer Kenneth Fuchs would visit the New York Harbor and the “Big U” was among the ocean liners docked there. Inspired by the ship, he recorded “Atlantic Riband” and contacted the SS United States Conservancy.

In UConn Today, Susan Gibbs recalls learning of the musical piece and the SS United States’s ability to inspire: “It was just so fortuitous. It was a perfect example to us of how this ship continues to inspire us – whether in the arts, in design, or as symbolic of postwar American pride, patriotism, and technological innovation. Ken’s piece perfectly captures the S.S. United States’ enduring mystique.”

In another example of the ship’s ability to inspire, last week, Philadelphia’s WGAL News 8  featured a three-part series on the SS Unites States. In part one the ship’s history is explored and Susan L. Gibbs, the SS United States Conservancy’s Executive Director and granddaughter of the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs, talks aboard the ship. Part two interviews a passenger of the maiden voyage and in part three three we hear about the big ideas for the future of the ship.

You can see even more ways the superliner has impacted all sorts of lives by looking through the stories contributed at savetheunitedstates.org

We’re glad to see that the SS United States has been able to inspire others the way it has inspired AlphaUSA.

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AlphaUSA leads effort to Save The SS United States

3 Jul

Photo courtesy of Nick Landiak and the SS United States Conservancy

60 years ago today, the SS United States, the greatest ocean liner ever built, departed on a record-breaking maiden voyage. A week later she returned home to a hero’s welcome and ticker tape parade. Once air travel became the preferred means of transportation, the SS United States was eventually taken out of service. She has passed from owner to owner and now sits in Philadelphia, slowly deteriorating. Once the pride of a nation, the vessel is close to being lost forever.

In February of last year, the president of Philadelphia-based TurnaSure introduced AlphaUSA’s president, Chuck Dardas, to the SS United States Conservancy‘s  “Save Our Ship” movement to preserve our nation’s flagship.  As a company we were immediately drawn to the superliner and her story.

The famed naval architect William Francis Gibbs designed the superliner. Constructed entirely in the United States she served a dual-purpose.  In peaceful times she would be the world’s finest passenger liner, but if called upon,  she could be converted to a troop carrier in two-days time, transporting 10,000 troops anywhere in the world.  The ship that bears the name of this great land became an inspiration to this veteran-owned company.

The ship was built to be a “super” liner, at the cutting edge of technology — the largest ocean liner constructed almost completely of aluminum and she broke speed records on her maiden voyage. To this day, the SS United States still holds the record for fastest transatlantic passenger travel, and to this day she is a manufacturing and engineering marvel.

Feeling a strong affinity for the industrial-know-how and American Pride that went into creating the SS United States,  AlphaUSA took on the Conservancy’s effort as its own.  Charged by our attendance at TEDx, and moved by local Detroit crowdfunding efforts, we suggested a unique online fundraiser. The Conservancy liked the idea, and looked to AlphaUSA to turn it into a reality.

For over a year now, AlphaUSA has been leading the design and outreach efforts for Save the United States, a national campaign to restore America’s Flagship, a groundbreaking fundraising experience that will teach new generations about the ship and allow supporters to take part in her restoration in a very personal way.  After all the hard work, we can’t believe it will finally launch to the public this month.  AlphaUSA is proud to be a part of this historic effort and looks forward to inviting our local community to get involved in her restoration.

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