High Flight is based on the famous poem by John Gillespie Magee Jr, a 19 year old American-born pilot who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during WW2. He was inspired to write his sonnet while flying for the first time at 30,000 feet in a Submarine Spitfire. Once back on the ground, Magee wrote a letter to his parents about the experience, and on the back of the letter, jotted down his now famous poem. It is probably the best known poem about aviation and a tribute to pilots everywhere. Just 3 months later, on Dec 11 1941, (and just 3 days after the U.S. entered WW2) Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr. was killed during a training mission when his Spitfire collided with an Oxford Trainer over Tangemere England. He was only 19 years old. The words to High Flight are inscribed on his tombstone.
This musical setting of High Flight was written as a Remembrance Day piece for the Steveston-London Choir, but the version presented here is a quartet with vocals by myself and Amy Koop, who supplied all the soprano and alto parts. The animation you see was done over a period of two years by art students at Steveston-London under the direction of teacher Sid Akselrod. The film received 1st place in the Animation Category of the 2012 BC Student Film Festival.