Wings of Song
Literally huge: Henry Ford's eighty-acre factory with its mile-long assembly line turned out 8,865 of the so-ugly-it's-cute B-24 heavy bomber that helped win the war against fascism. Fascinated and inspired, Osterland went back to the choir with the idea. "Initially, there were concerns about glorifying war," he says. "But when we talked about it, we decided it had potential."
Osterland's solution is simple but elegant. "The piece is in two sections. One section is mechanical and is supposed to sound like the assembly line ... After that, there's another section that talks about planes leaving and soaring into the air, bearing the hopes and dreams of the people.
"It sounds idealized, but it's true," says Osterland, whose day job is president of Ypsilanti's FasTemps staffing agency. "There was a sense of unity of purpose in people during World War II, and that's embodied in what the plant put together in such a short amount of time."
[Originally published in May, 2013.]