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NSO principal trumpet Steven Hendrickson scores the Olympics

(Photo by Carol Pratt/Courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra) (Photo by Carol Pratt/Courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra)

Sure, Sochi has been plagued with packs of stray dogs, unfinished hotel rooms and tap water the color of whiskey. But the show, as they say, must go on. If there’s one thing the organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics should be able to get right it’s the soundtrack. And nothing says “forget about that open manhole” like a good opening ceremony complete with a lot of loud music to drown out all that construction noise. We drafted Steven Hendrickson, the principal trumpet of the National Symphony Orchestra, to give us a list of his favorite fanfare, that classic flourish of trumpets that’s led many an Olympic sports team to glory in god-awful uniforms.

1. Frank Sinatra “Fly Me to the Moon”

“Sinatra is the epitome of the American singer, anything he does is great, and I wanted a Sinatra song simply because of who he is.”

2. John Williams “Summon the Heroes”

“This is the fanfare he created for the Olympics —  a grand soaring melody with bugle flourishes, in contrast to Bugler’s Dream, which is more of a slow march.”

3. John Williams “Liberty Fanfare”

“A true ceremonial piece, for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty – it’s open, brassy, and regal, right off the bat.”

4. Aaron Copland “Fanfare for the Common Man”

“This is as American as it gets. It’s solemn and grand, but simple — like the common man.”

5. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky “Symphony No. 4″

“The opening is stirring, magnificent, but in a minor key.”

6. Dmitri Shostakovich “Festive Overture”

“It just keeps going higher, reaching further.”

7. Giovanni Gabrieli “Canzona per Sonare No. 2″

“This is an antiphonal work, with three brass choirs, like different teams at the same event.”

8. Johann Sebastian Bach “Toccata and Fugue for Organ”

“Even if you don’t know the name, you know the music the minute you hear it, familiar, but always dramatic.”

9. Franz von Suppe “Light Calvary”

“At the very opening it is stately, and then it continues with a melody familiar to anyone who has watched cartoons.”

Helena Andrews-Dyer is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to



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Helena Andrews-Dyer · February 7, 2014

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