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Washington/Canadian-Media: Italian American Heritage Month (IAHM) is celebrated every year in the month of October to honor and recognize the centuries of achievements, successes, and valuable contributions of Italian immigrants and Italian Americans.
Italian American History Month. Image credit: www.osia.org
First observed in 1989 by a special proclamation of both Congress and President George H. W. Bush, IAHM honors the achievements and contributions of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the USA, particularly in the arts, science, and culture.
The heritage month is in October to coincide with Columbus Day, the American national holiday traditionally celebrated on October 12, now celebrated on the second Monday in October.
Between 1820 and 2000 over 5 million Italians immigrated to the United States of America (USA). Currently, over 26 million Americans of Italian descent residing in the USA making the Italian-Americans the fifth largest ethnic group.
During the observation of IAHM, the Library of Congress (LoC), based in Washington, USA acknowledges the musical gifts and legacies Italian-Americans provided to the USA.
Established in 1800, LoC is the world’s largest library and the main research arm of the U.S. Congress as well as the home of the U.S. Copyright Office, offering access to the creative record of the United States and from around the world both on-site and online.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
In its musical training, USA is introduced to learning the terms used to describe tempos, dynamics, instruments in Italian language because the universally accepted dynamics and other musical vocabulary are still the Italian designations.
From the very American big band era, the American singer and actor Frank Sinatra, the only child of Sicilian (Italy) immigrants, studied with an opera singer to learn breath control and observed Tommy Dorsey, an American jazz trombonist, composer, conductor, and bandleader of the big band era.
Another great Italian-American singer is Gershwin award winner Tony Bennett with his signature song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”.
Bill Conti, another Italian-American composer’s “Fanfare for Rocky” from Rocky which is great motivational music to push through the challenge.
Also carrying on the Italian composing tradition, New York-based John Corigliano, Jr. has presented lyrical scores to movies, The Red Violin, and operas.