Thursday, August 12, 2021 Concert

The tenth and final concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, August 12, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.

The August 12 concert repertoire will be:

Stitches in Time: A Second Piece by Meredith Brammeier
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X
The Belle of Chicago March by John Philip Sousa
Highlights from Frozen II by Kristen and Robert Lopez
Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Grainger
Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger
Too Young by Sidney Lippman and Sylvia Dee
Beau Monde by Jack Stamp
God Bless America by Irving Berlin
The Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa

Stitches in Time: A Second Piece was the MCMB’s 2020 commission. Composer Meredith Brammeier created each movement as her interpretation of quilting patterns.

Old Town Road, by rapper Lil Nas X, was the winner of two Grammy Awards in 2020. At 19 weeks, the song holds the record of staying number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

John Philip Sousa composed The Belle of Chicago in 1892, and he dedicated it to the “Ladies of Chicago.” The march was finished just before he completed his 12-year tenure as conductor of the US Marine Band. He spent the next 40 years touring with his own professional band. Among the Sousa Band’s first successes was playing for the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, where the band was sometimes acclaimed as the “World’s Fair Band.”

Highlights from Frozen II, by Kristen and Robert Lopez, contains the following songs:

Vuelie, All is Found, Some Things Never Change, Into the Unknown, Lost in the Woods, and Show Yourself.

Born in Australia, Percy Grainger was known as an innovative composer, virtuoso pianist, and folk music researcher & arranger, as well as one of the first to use the phonograph in the collection of folk songs. The MCMB will play two of Mr. Grainger’s folk song settings. First is Irish Tune from County Derry, which we all recognize as Danny Boy. Second is a Morris dance called Shepherd’s Hey.

In 1952, Nat King Cole topped the Billboard charts for five weeks with Too Young, a song by Sidney Lippman and Sylvia Dee.

Beau Monde is the MCMB’s 2021 commission. It is an exciting and creative adaptation of the well-known hymn For the Beauty of the Earth. Dr. Jack Stamp, the composer, served for many years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is also the founder and conductor of a professional concert band called Keystone Winds. In retirement, Dr. Stamp is teaching at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

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Thursday, August 5, 2021 Concert

The ninth concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, August 5, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. Guest soloist 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 George and Ira Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael.

The August 5 concert repertoire will be:

Radetsky March by Johann Strauss, Jr.
Florentiner March by Julius Fucik
‘S Wonderful by George and Ira Gershwin
Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael
Scarf Dance by Cecile Chaminade
My America arr. Joyce Eilers
St. Louis Blues by WC Handy
La Fiesta Mexicana (excerpt) by H.Owen Reed

Radetsky March and Florentiner March were favorites of the late Dr. Charles Janovsky. “Dr. J” played clarinet in the Michigan City Municipal Band for 39 years, and the band is honoring him by playing these two selections. In addition to Dr. Janovsky, the Michigan City Municipal Band has recently honored four other long-serving band members who died since the band’s 2019 season: Michael Boo, Steve Hornyak, Norm Jones, and Bud Westphal.

George and Ira Gershwin composed ‘s Wonderful in 1927 for the musical Funny Face. Performed and recorded by countless artists over years, the song was also used in the 1951 film, An American in Paris.

Also composed in 1927, Stardust is a classic by Indiana’s own Hoagy Carmichael. Recorded at least 1500 times, Stardust entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995, and the National Recording Registry in 2004.

Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944) was an acclaimed French composer and pianist, the first female awarded the Legion d’Honneur. Ms. Chaminade toured the USA in 1908, and one of her most popular compositions was Scarf Dance.

My America is Joyce Eilers’ lovely setting of America, which we all know as My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” Mrs. Eilers earned degrees from Oklahoma City University and the University of Oregon. She was a school music teacher for many years, and also taught at Pacific Lutheran University. Mrs. Eilers was well-respected for her hundreds of choral compositions and arrangements, her sight-singing methods, and her mentorship of young composers.

W.C. Handy dubbed himself the “Father of the Blues.” An important American songwriter, Mr. Handy was one of the first publishers of blues music. Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1993, St. Louis Blues was inspired by Mr. Handy’s meeting of a distraught woman in St. Louis.

Composer H. Owen Reed (1910-2014) taught at Michigan State University for nearly 40 years. La Fiesta Mexicana is Dr. Reed’s impression of a Mexican fiesta.

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