Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.
Van Heuvelen finished the symphony and even got it in front of Leonard Bernstein a few years after the war. But he wound up getting a job teaching music in the public schools of Bismarck, N.D.
The story could have ended there. Click the audio link on this page to learn how Van Heuvelen's opus was revived decades later and finally saw its debut.