The third concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band will be held Thursday, June 24, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.
The June 24 concert repertoire will be:
On Wings of Flight by Michael Boo
Mountains in the Mist by Michael Boo
Three Dances by Florence Price
Gentle Annie by Stephen Foster
Another Op’nin’ Another Show by Cole Porter
The Rhythm Stand by Jennifer Higdon
Peace by Frank Ticheli
Bolero Espanol by Ernesto Lecuona
George Washington Bicentennial March by John Philip Sousa
A Patriotic Festival arr. Mark Williams
Guest soloist on the June 24 concert will be Anne Marie Bice, voice professor from Valparaiso University. Ms. Bice has extensive performance experience and sings in a wide variety of styles. Prof. Bice will sing music by Stephen Foster and Cole Porter.
Since the end of the 2019 MCMB season, five band members have died. Our plan is to honor each at a concert this summer. On June 17, we remembered long-time tuba player Norm Jones. This week, we will honor composer and percussionist Michael Boo.
The late Michael Boo, a resident of Chesterton, created over 100 compositions and arrangements that were premiered by Windiana, the Michigan City Municipal Band, the community band in Valparaiso, the Valparaiso University bands, and many other ensembles. Mike also served as the staff writer for Drum Corps International, where his reporting and blogging were read by tens of thousands of people over the course of three decades, and where he was respectfully known as “The Pen of Pageantry.” Michael’s music has been performed around the world and published by TRN, Grand Mesa, and Carl Fischer. On Wings of Flight is a joyful selection that was released by Carl Fischer shortly before Mike’s passing. In 2009, Mountains in the Mist was premiered in China by Windiana. It is a reflection on traveling China’s beautiful Li River.
Imagine a female African-American composer earning important awards for composition, including performance of her music by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, all in the first decades of the twentieth century! That was Florence Price (nee Smith). Mrs. Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and studied at the New England Conservatory. She won the Wanamaker Award for her Symphony 1 in E. The Three Dances were originally short piano pieces reflecting children at play. The setting for band was created by Erik Leidzen, one of the most important band arrangers of the last century. He masterfully used the textures and colors of the concert band to enable the playfulness of each movement to come through.
Jennifer Higdon teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, as well as three Grammy Awards. Dr. Higdon’s music has been performed around the world, and she has been commissioned by ensembles that include the National Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony. According to Dr. Higdon, Rhythm Stand “pays tribute to the constant presence of rhythm in our lives, from the pulse of a heart beating to the rhythmic sounds of the world around us.”
Bolero Espanol was the first band composition by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. Born in 1896, he graduated from the National Conservatory in Havana at age fifteen. Mr. Lecuona performed as a pianist around the world, and after the revolution in Cuba, he spent much of his life in the United States. Mr. Lecuona is credited with bringing Latin-American music into prominence, and audiences will recognize some of his other famous compositions, including Malaguena and Andalucia. Several of his works became well-known in the United States through Lucille Ball’s husband and fellow Cuban, Desi Arnaz.
John Philip Sousa wrote the George Washington Bicentennial March in 1930. He conducted it with a combined band of the Army, Navy, and Marines for the 200th birthday celebration of our first president in 1932.
To help keep musicians and audience members safe, band members will follow strict safety protocols, including bell covers on woodwind and brass instruments, physical distancing, and masks.
All of the concerts are free, and everyone is welcome. School band members and young children are especially encouraged to attend. Parking on Lake Shore Drive is prohibited. Parking is available in the lots closest to the amphitheater, as well as the Senior Center. Entrance to the park is free with a Michigan City Park sticker; otherwise, there is a parking fee.
The MCMB 153rd Season consists of ten free Thursday concerts, ending August 12. All concerts begin at 7:30p and last about an hour. The band plays a wide variety of music, with concerts designed to entertain audience members of all ages.
Jeffrey Scott Doebler is the conductor for the MCMB, and Quincy Ford is the assistant conductor. On November 3, 2018, Dr. Doebler was named a Distinguished Hoosier by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. Dr. Doebler serves as director of music education and bands at Valparaiso University. He is a past president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association and the Indiana Music Education Association. He is founder and conductor of Windiana: Professional Concert Band of Northwest Indiana. Mr. Ford, principal saxophone in the MCMB, is retired director of bands from Michigan City High School.
The band’s announcer is Rick Carlson.