The tenth and final concert of the 155th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, August 10, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. The concert will feature a great variety of music, including compositions by Guy Foreman and John Philip Sousa.
The August 10 concert repertoire will be:
Castle House Rag by James Reese Europe
The Bonsai Tree by Julie Giroux
Take on Me arr. Paul Murtha
Singing Sands Overture by Guy Foreman
Mars and Venus from Looking Upward Suite by John Philip Sousa
Mi Nata by Jose Quesada
The Golden Mustang Concert March by Michael Boo
Motown Revue arr. Paul Murtha
Audience sing-along: America, the Beautiful arr. Carmen Dragon
The Stars and Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
James Reese Europe was the first African American bandmaster in the US Army. Before World War I, Mr. Europe was a successful band leader and composer in the USA, earning the nickname “The King of Jazz”, and he led the first concert by African Americans at Carnegie Hall in 1912. Maestro Europe went on to lead a renowned military band in Europe during World War I. Upon his death in 1919, Lieutenant Europe was the first African American in New York City to have a public funeral, and he was then laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Castle House Rag showcases the Ragtime style. The United States military band of Lieutenant James Reese Europe is believed to have played the first Ragtime music in France.
The Bonsai Tree honors a 500-year-old Bonsai tree that is considered one of Japan’s treasures. Composer Julie Giroux received her formal education from Louisiana State University and Boston University. In 1985, she began composing, orchestrating, and conducting music for television and films. When Ms. Giroux won her first Emmy Award, she was the first woman, and the youngest person ever, to win the award in that category. The Bonsai Tree demonstrates the beautiful blended tones of the concert band.
Take on Me is the classic 1984 pop tune by the Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha. It accompanied a ground-breaking music video.
Guy Forrest Foreman was perhaps the most important part of the legacy of the Michigan City Municipal Band. He conducted the band for 60 of its first 133 years. Singing Sands Overture was written in 1955, and was the fifth of Dr. Foreman’s seven works to be published by Belwin. Maestro Foreman wrote that Singing Sands Overture was “named for the famous singing sands to be found on the beaches of the Indiana Dunes at the foot of Lake Michigan. The term singing sands comes from the musical murmuring of the countless grains of sand as they are continuously being shifted about by the lake breezes.”
John Philip Sousa led the US Marine Band for 12 years, then went on to form his own band that toured the world for another 39 years. In addition to 136 marches, Mr. Sousa was the composer of nearly 100 other original works, including twelve suites. Mars and Venus, composed in 1902, is the third movement of Mr. Sousa’s Looking Upward Suite. It sounds like a happy and rollicking circus selection.
A resident of Chesterton and a member of the Michigan City Municipal Band, the late Michael Boo wrote The Golden Mustang in the style of a Spanish march.
Motown Revue contains three of the Motor City’s greatest hits: I Heard it through the Grapevine, made popular by Marvin Gaye; My Girl, the hit by The Temptations; and ABC, made popular by the Jackson Five.
Continuing its tradition of concluding each concert with a patriotic audience sing-along, the Michigan City Municipal Band will close with Carmen Dragon’s famous setting of America, the Beautiful.
The Michigan City Municipal Band sincerely appreciates the citizens, city government, and parks department of Michigan City for supporting the band!
Thanks to our videographer, Ruben Alexander, the Michigan City Municipal Band can be seen on television all year long. For Michigan City area residents, the concerts are broadcast every Wednesday, at 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM, on cable channel 99. The band concerts also air in Fort Wayne.
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.