UPDATE FROM FEB. 2015:
This amazing story continues on because "Ducks Are Flying" has taken on the life of its own in the United States. Hear all about it here. Thanks to Susan Lewis and WRTI FM for bringing it to light!
PART 2 CONTINUED:
I am sharing some new information, updates and insights kindly provided by Archie Bailey, the Executive Director of Schola Cantorum of Texas, one of the choirs singing at Van Cliburn's funeral service today in Forth Worth, TX:
"From the melody I found on the web, Tom [Stoker, a longtime friend of Van and his mother - ih] had a friend and greatly talented composer begin arraigning The Ducks are Flying as a backup in case we could not get an original. We ran his score today and with your help from your score and vocal mp3 we have a tremendously beautiful work. It will be sung as the casket leaves the church. It will be most moving and an appropriate expression of our loss. Thank you for your help. I will send you a copy of the arrangement by Kyle. You will cry when you hear it."
"About 1/5th of the total singers are Schola on such short notice. About 1/5th are from the Arlington Master Chorale, the rest are from the two church choirs.
Van was so loved that we even have a few little, stooped ladies on walkers and canes singing their hearts out for him.
He was a tender man, and loved all things of beauty in nature.
Van once said 'only the birds sing for free.' Today we are honored to be his birds, singing from the heart for all the world to hear."
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FUNERAL SERVICE INFORMATION:
The service will start at 3 PM today, March 3, 2013 at Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX.
With the Fort Worth Symphony and 270 voices in the chorus. The chorus is made up of Schola Cantorum of Texas, the Arlington Master Chorale, Broadway Baptist Chancel Choir and Arborlawn United Methodist Chancel Choir.
"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" -- Wilberg "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" - Wilberg "Old Hundredth" - Vaughan Williams "Moscow Nights" (in Russian) "The Lord's Prayer" - Tschaikovsky (in Russian)
"Ducks are Flying" - Russian Folk Song (in Russian)
Live broadcast: Charter Cable channel 101, Turner Broadcasting (Time Warner) channel 371, on radio WBAP 820 AM, and will be rebroadcast on WFAA Channel 8 at 1:05 am Monday morning.
And here is the video recording of the funeral service: