Thursday, August 3, 2023 Concert

The ninth concert of the 155th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, August 3, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. The concert will feature euphonium soloist Hiram Diaz, and will also present the premiere of the MCMB’s 2023 commission, Blue Water, Blue Sky by Catherine McMichael.

In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the auditorium of Michigan City High School, 8466 W. Pahs Road.

The August 3 concert repertoire will be:

Pride of the Marines March by Austyn R. Edwards
Concerto for Euphonium and Band by Tom Davoren
Sobre Las Ojas (Over the Waves) by Juventino Rosas
The Basses are Loaded by Kelly Bennette
Tripwire by JaRod Hall
Blue Water, Blue Sky by Catherine McMichael (premiere)
Pax by Catherine McMichael
Born to Be Wild by Mars Bonfire, arr. Johnnie Vinson
Audience sing-along: My America arr. Joyce Eilers

Hiram Diaz, EuphoniumHiram Diaz grew up in Miami. He graduated from Miami’s New World School of the Arts, then earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He joined the US Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” in 2012. He is co-leader of the Marine Band’s Latin Jazz Ensemble. GySgt. Diaz will be playing Concerto for Euphonium and Band by award-winning composer Tom Davoren. The Michigan City Municipal Band commissioned Mr. Davoren to write this three-movement composition.

Catherine McMichael lives in Saginaw, Michigan. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan. Mrs. McMichael teaches at Saginaw Valley State University and also leads the handbell choir at First United Methodist Church in Saginaw. She is an active composer of music for band, choir, orchestra, handbells, individual instruments, and chamber ensembles. A few of her recent commissions include The Canadian Brass, Saginaw Bay Orchestra, Chautauqua Institution, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the New England Conservatory.

Catherine McMichaelBlue Water, Blue Sky contains beautiful themes that represent Lake Michigan, the blue sky at Washington Park, and even an original sea shanty for the band. Pax is a gentle and reflective composition that allows us to envision peaceful sounds and a peaceful world.

Austyn R. Edwards (1891-1977) was a professional trumpet player who taught brass instruments at Valparaiso University, and was conductor of the band at the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant in LaPorte County. In addition to 55 marches, including Pride of the Marines, Mr. Edwards was the author of two important method books for trumpet.

Juventino Rosas (1868-1894) was a Mexican composer and violinst. His composition, Sobre Las Ojas (Over the Waves), is a smooth waltz that audience members will recognize from its frequent use as background music for trapeze artists in the circus.

Kelly Bennette’s composition The Basses are Loaded is a comical way to proclaim that the lowest voices in the band have the melody. Mr. Bennette is professional tuba player and retired music educator with nearly 100 compositions to his credit.

Also from Texas, JaRod Hall is music educator, composer, and professional tuba player. In his program notes from Tripwire, Mr. Hall suggests that the audience imagine “…a team of bandits who must escape a secret hideout without being detected or tripping the wire.”

Born to Be Wild is the classic by Steppenwolf hit from 1968.

Continuing its tradition of concluding each concert with a patriotic audience sing-along, the Michigan City Municipal Band will close with Joyce Eilers’ gentle setting of America.

All of the Michigan City Municipal Band 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 of $4 for the band concert. (The $4 fee applies after 7:00p.)

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. Mr. Ford, principal saxophone in the MCMB, is retired director of bands and music department chair from Michigan City High School.

The band’s announcer is Rick Carlson.

Posted in 2023 Season, Concert Announcements.

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