Sunday’s “Over There and Everywhere: Music of the WWI Era” concert performed by Oglethorpe Director of Music Dr. Brent Runnels and Dr. Wanda Yang Temko, Affiliate Artist in Voice at Oglethorpe, will include the world premiere of a World War I-inspired piano and voice composition.
The short song, “Consolation,” was written by Savannah’s F.A Warth to honor the loss of the soldiers on the HMS Otranto, a WWI U.S. troopship that sank off the Scottish island of Islay in hurricane weather after ramming another Allied troopship.
A grieving father, Warth dedicated “Consolation” to “the memory of my son Williams Eugene Warth and his comrades who lost their lives on U.S. Transport Otranto, October 6, 1918.” The song has never been performed in public.
Most of the 470 killed onboard the Otranto were American soldiers from Georgia. More than 600 other soldiers were able to make their way to safety. Kilchoman Cemetery on the island of Islay is a burial ground for the soldiers lost in this tragedy. The Otranto tragedy is well-documented in R. Neil Scott’s book, Many Were Held by the Sea.
“Over There and Everywhere,” to be held in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, is part of World War I: 100th Anniversary Commemoration, a campus-wide, semester-long effort to commemorate the history of the war.