Magic Behind the Music: Epcot – American Adventure Pavilion – Voices of Liberty – Battle Hymn of the Republic
In our Magic Behind the Music series, I have previously covered The American Adventure show at Epcot’s American Adventure pavilion. But before that half-hour show, there is another presentation as guests gather in the rotunda of the pavilion. The Voices of Liberty are an a capella group that performs a series of American patriotic songs throughout the day.
The Voices of Liberty have been performing at Epcot since the park opened on October 1, 1982, but did you know they were actively performing under the name Re’Generation long before that? As Re’Generation, they were a travelling gospel-singing group based in California. They were connected with Disney after doing a performance in Jacksonville, FL and were asked to perform at the Magic Kingdom for the Star Spangled Spectacular in 1973. The Star Spangled Spectacular took place every year at the Magic Kingdom until 1977 when it was moved to Downtown Disney, now Disney Springs. Re’Generation continued to be a part of the Star Spangled Spectacular until Epcot opened and the group became a regular daily staple of the park’s entertainment.
They still do performances outside of Walt Disney World, but over the years, members have come and gone. The audition process is a difficult one in that they might see 200 auditioners a day when casting. An auditioner not only needs to sing well, but needs to blend well with the other vocalists, so a stellar soprano or a terrific tenor could audition, but be turned away because they just don’t have the right tones in their voices.
The D-COT Jukebox has a selection of 16 songs by the Voices of Liberty. The track for the Battle Hymn of the Republic was added on March 1, 2009. It has a play count of 7840. It is a favorite of 104 Members and is on 16 Custom playlists made by D-COT Supporters. This track has a strong 4.7/5 average rating with 49 votes.
In honor of America’s veterans (who’s national holiday we recently celebrated on November 11), I have selected this track as the feature. The song was written by Julia Ward Howe in November 1861 during the turbulence of the American Civil War. A strong advocate of the Union and an active leader in anti-slavery politics, Howe’s lyrics intended to make a connection between God’s judgment and the raging war. Since then the song has become one of the USA’s more popular patriotic hymns. It was a favorite of Walt Disney himself and was played at the conclusion of his private funeral on December 16, 1966.