Southeastern University CAM recognizes Military service members

Tribute to members of the military in Polk

Originally written by Paul Catala and published by the Ledger Media Group. Visit the to view the original article.

For Hollywood, Joseph DeBeasi has composed songs representing survival, fortitude and diversion. For Polk County, he has composed songs focused on duty and service.

DeBeasi, 57, is a Hollywood music editor and composer who wrote the score for “American Sniper.” He has worked on more than 60 feature films including “The Revenant,” “The Book of Eli” and “Dirty Dancing.”

On March 20, DeBeasi premieres “One More Minute,” commissioned by Southeastern University’s College of Arts & Media. The song will be performed by Lakeland’s Imperial Symphony Orchestra (ISO) at 7″30 p.m. at Victory Church, 1401 Griffin Road, Lakeland.

The evening is part of the college’s “Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community” project, music that will serve as a tribute to members of the military. The project cost more than $60,000, funded partly through a $26,700 grant from the Polk County Tourist Development Council.

It will be a night that will bring all facets of the community together to pay tribute to former and active servicemen and women through music, says Craig Collins, dean of the SEU College of Arts & Media.

The song was completed Jan. 29 and will be officially released at the “Sinfonia” performance. Joining the ISO will be strings instrumentalists from Southeastern.

“He finished it last night and I listened to it. I will say it absolutely touched my soul; it’s quite stirring,” Collins says. “Though many (military personnel and veterans) have been stateside for years, their battle to truly return home has not yet been decided. It is our hope that ‘Sinfonia’ would be the welcome home they have been searching for.”

Warner Bros. studios and Clint Eastwood, who directed “American Sniper,” gave DeBeasi permission to use the movie’s music for “Sinfonia.”

From Culver City, California, DeBeasi says “One More Minute” was inspired by a compact disc series by Edward Tick, “Restoring the Warrior’s Soul.” He says that series addressed the importance of healing the first casualty.

“That phrase moved me and I started imagining. I imagined that the first casualty was my friend. Then it was a stranger,” he says. ”‘One More Minute’ is inspired by the imagined story of two warriors coming together, meeting soul to soul and embracing, comforting and healing each other with love and forgiveness.”

“I am also thrilled that the choir from Southeastern University will be performing on the ‘American Sniper Suite’ and ‘One More Minute,’ the commissioned piece for Sinfonia,” he says. “The choir’s participation in ‘One More Minute’ will add a deeper emotion to the music — a gravitas, that when heard, promotes dignity. I am delighted they agreed to perform on my scores.”

Collins says Florida State Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, and Drew Watson, SEU’s athletic director, will each conduct segments written specifically by DeBeasi for them after he interviewed them, which is meant to show how music creates a narrative. They then will discuss their experiences with the audience. He says the hope is those discussions will help develop a better appreciation for the military and stronger bonds with community leaders.

Other guest conductors scheduled are:

‒ Scott Franklin, a retired naval aviator who left active duty in 2000 after serving for 14 years. Now president and CEO of Lanier Upshaw, he will conduct ″Camp Kirkland″ in a Salute to the Armed Forces.

‒ Eddie Hawks, minister of music from Victory Church. Hawks will conduct the ″Star Spangled Banner.″

‒ William Lake, SEU band director. Lake will conduct Richard Rodgers/Robert Russell Bennett’s “Victory at Sea.”

The program will also include the Presentation of Colors by the SEU, Florida Southern College and Polk State College ROTC units, and comments about music education by Miss Florida 2017 Sara Zeng.

Tickets for “Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community” are $15 for adults; $10 for students; $5 for veterans. They can be purchased online at or 863-667-5657.

Published: February 28, 2018