The fourth concert of the 155th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, June 29, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. With lots of patriotic music, the concert will celebrate Independence Day.
The June 29 concert repertoire will be:
Golden Jubilee March by John Philip Sousa
Old American Songs by Aaron Copland
God Bless America by Irving Berlin
Bugle Call Rag by Eubie Blake and Carey Morgan
Indian Story Time by Brent Michael Davids
The Hoosier Slide by Hale A. VanderCook
The Flying Wedge by Kate Dolby
Peace Like a River arr. Robert W. Smith
Sing-along: A Patriotic Festival arr. Mark Williams
The Stars and Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
In addition to being outstanding performers, many of the Michigan City Municipal Band members are successful conductors. On five concerts this season, conductors from within the band are being featured, each leading one composition. On June 29, Virginia Hernandez will conduct Bugle Call Rag by Eubie Blake and Carey Morgan. Mrs. Hernandez serves as director of bands at Griffith High School. She earned degrees from Bowling Green State University and DePaul University. Mrs. Hernandez plays trumpet in the Michigan City Municipal Band and Windiana Concert Band. African American composer and pianist Eubie Blake lived from 1887-1983, and was an important creator of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1981, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born in Indiana, Carey Morgan was an important Vaudeville composer and producer who served in the US Navy during World War I.
John Philip Sousa composed Golden Jubilee March in 1928 to celebrate his fifty years as a conductor. His conducting career began in the theaters of Philadelphia, then he led the US Marine Band for twelve years before leading his own band for 40 years. While on tour in 1914 and 1924, the Sousa Band played concerts in Michigan City.
Aaron Copland was considered by many to be the “dean” of American composers, and the harmonies and melodies in his music are recognized as the sound of American classical music. Guest soprano soloist, Anne Marie Bice, will sing a suite of Mr. Copland’s songs, including The Little Horses, Simple Gifts, and Ching-A-Ring Chaw. Ms. Bice will also sing Irving Berlin’s classic patriotic anthem God Bless America. Ms. Bice is a voice professor from Valparaiso University. She has extensive performance experience, sings in a wide variety of styles, and has been soloing with the Michigan City Municipal Band since 2015.
Indian Story Time was commissioned by the Minnesota Band Directors Association. The music uses melodies reminiscent of Dakota and Ojibwe songs, recounting stories from these Native American nations. Composer Brent Michael Davids is the famous Native American composer who has written for ensembles and films, and has been commissioned by the Joffrey Ballet and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Hale VanderCook was probably the second most famous conductor of the Michigan City Municipal Band—second only to Dr. Guy Foreman, who led the band for an astonishing 60 years. Mr. VanderCook conducted the Michigan City Municipal Band for several seasons around the turn of the 20th century. He went on to found the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, which remains well-known for training music teachers. Maestro VanderCook was also a successful composer. Among the works he wrote while leading the Michigan City Municipal Band was The Hoosier Slide. This light number, also known as a “trombone smear”, features the trombone section with lots of glissandos. One of Michigan City’s tourist attractions of long ago, The Hoosier Slide was a giant sand dune that used to sit where the NIPSCO generating station is now located. The Hoosier Slide disappeared after years of mining to make glass jars.
Kate Dolby composed The Flying Wedge in 1917 as a banjoContinue reading