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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Thursday, July 29, 2021 Concert

The eighth concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, July 29, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.

The July 29 concert repertoire will be:

The Free Lance March by John Philip Sousa
Original Dixieland Concerto by John Warrington
Beau Monde by Jack Stamp
Summit by Kevin Day
The Bonsai Tree by Julie Giroux
Il Guarani Overture (excerpt) by Antonio Gomez
Sesame Street Celebration arr. Michael Brown
From Sea to Shining Sea by Maurice Whitney

In addition to over 130 marches, Mr. Sousa composed many other types of music, including several popular operettas. Several of his marches were extracted from the operettas, including The Free Lance. The story of the operetta reads like a soap opera, with the bankrupt kingdoms of Braggadocia and Graftiana trying to steal from each other.

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Thursday, July 22, 2021 Concert

The seventh concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held on Thursday, July 22, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. The band plays a variety of music designed to entertain audience members of all ages. All concerts are free and everyone is welcome. Jeffrey Scott Doebler is the conductor for the MCMB and Quincy Ford is the assistant conductor. Dr. Doebler serves as director of music education at Valparaiso University. Mr. Ford, principal saxophone in the MCMB, is retired director of bands from Michigan City High School. Assistant conductor Quincy Ford will lead the band this week.

The July 22 concert repertoire will include:

Semper Fidelis by John Philip Sousa
The Marriage of Figaro Overture by W. A. Mozart arr. Earl Slocum
Sea Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Hebrides Suite by Clare Grundman
Balladair by Frank Erickson
Funiculi Funicula by Luigi Denza arr. Philip J. Lang
The Lion King Soundtrack Highlights arr. Calvin Custer
Tritsch-Tratsch Polka by Johann Strauss arr. Alfred Reed
Bugler’s Dream by Leo Arnaud
Hands Across the Sea by John Philip Sousa
A Patriotic Festival arr. Mark Williams
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Thursday, July 15, 2021 Concert

The sixth concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, July 15, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. Special guest soloist will be Gunnery Sergeant Hiram Diaz from the US Marine Band in Washington, DC, “The President’s Own,” playing euphonium. (The euphonium is sometimes called a baritone, and it looks like a small tuba.)

The July 15 concert repertoire will be:

Oblivion by Astor Piazzola
Mesto by Tom Davoren
Premiere performance
GySgt. Hiram Diaz, US Marine Band, euphonium soloist
Use Me by Bill Withers
Lean on Me by Bill Withers
Rippling Watercolors by Brian Balmages
The Fairest of the Fair March by John Philip Sousa
Nabucco Overture by Giuseppe Verdi
God Bless America by Irving Berlin

Gunnery Sergeant Hiram 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 Mesto, the third movement from Concerto for Euphonium and Band by award-winning composer Tom Davoren. The Michigan City Municipal Band is commissioning Mr. Davoren to write this four-movement composition. We’ll play the entire concerto here with GySgt. Diaz next summer.

Astor Piazzolla is an Argentine composer who has been called “the most important interpreter of the modern tango.” Mr. Piazzolla wrote the tango Oblivion for the 1984 movie Henry IV.

One of the popular musical artists the world has lost during the pandemic was Bill Withers. We’ll remember Mr. Withers with two of his biggest hits: Use Me, and what became one of the anthems of the pandemic, Lean on Me.

Brian Balmages is the director of instrumental publications for FJH Music Company. He is a remarkably creative composer who has written for bands at all levels. Rippling Watercolors is a beautiful selection that shows off the gorgeous tone colors of the concert band.

The Sousa Band was often contracted to play for major fairs and expositions. Promoters knew that the Sousa Band was so popular and musically successful that their event would turn a profit when the Sousa Band was in residence. Such was the case with the Boston Food Fair of 1908, for which The Fairest of the Fair was composed. In addition to standard Sousa compositional techniques, many of the musical lines sound like roller coasters, moving up and down.

The Giuseppe Verdi opera, Nabucco, premiered at La Scala in 1842. It is considered the opera that solidified Verdi’s reputation as a world-class composer. The story follows the plight of the people assaulted by the Babylonian King Nabucco.

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Thursday, July 8, 2021 Concert

The fifth concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, July 8, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. In honor of Independence Day, many of the compositions will be patriotic.

The July 8 concert repertoire will be:

Esprit de Corps by Robert Janet
Emperata Overtute by Claude Smith
The Ragtime Drummer by James Lent
Block M March by Jerry Bilik
An Irish Rhapsody by Clare Grundman
Big Band Favorites by Robert Lowden
Manhattan Beach March by John Philip Sousa
Pop and Rock Legends: Chicago
More Cowbell! arr. Michael Brown
You’ve Got Friend in Me by Randy Newman

At this concert, the band will remember the late Steve Hornyak, who served as band president for over 50 years.

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Thursday, July 1, 2021 Concert

The fourth concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, July 1, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. In honor of Independence Day, many of the compositions will be patriotic.

The July 1 concert repertoire will be:

America, the Beautiful arr. Carmen Dragon
El Relicario by Jose Padilla
Hello Dolly by Jerry Herman
This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood arr. Paul Murtha
National Emblem March by E. E. Bagley
The Best of Carole King arr. Johnnie Vinson
This is My Country by Don Raye and Al Jacobs
Highlights from Sophisticated Ladies by Duke Ellington
March for Peace by Edwin Franko Goldman
The Stars and Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa

Even if they don’t know the titles, audience members will recognize the melodies from all of the music, including medleys from Hello Dolly, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Carole King, and Duke Ellington.

This will be an especially nice week to celebrate families and celebrate the United States of America!

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Thursday, June 24, 2021 Concert

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.

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Thursday, June 17, 2021 Concert

The second concert of the 153rd season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, June 17, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.

The June 17 concert repertoire will be:

Warrior Legacy by Soon Hee Newbold

On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss by David Holsinger

The Thunderer March by John Philip Sousa

Folk Suite by William Grant Still

Spring by Johan de Meij

Blue Moon by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart

El Condor Pasa by Daniel Robles

Quad City Stomp by Michael Sweeney

America, the Beautiful arr. Warren Barker

Guest soloist on the June 17 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 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and Dutch composer Johan de Meij.

Since last week, we learned that another long-serving member of the Michigan City Municipal Band died since our 2019 season. Norm Jones played tuba in the band for many years, and also served as the band’s secretary/treasurer. The MCMB’s June 17 performance of On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss will be played in honor of Norm. The text for the hymn includes the line “It is well with my soul.”

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Thursday, June 10, 2021 Concert

The Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will begin its 153rd season on Thursday, June 10, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.

The MCMB 153rd Season will consist of ten free Thursday concerts, beginning June 10, and 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.

The June 10 concert repertoire will be:

Dedicatory Overture by Clifton Williams

Air for Band by Frank Erickson

Credo by William Owens

Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa

Stitches in Time: A Second Piece (premiere) by Meredith Brammeier

Mexican Hat Dance by Felipe A. Partichela

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, arr. Michael Brown

Whip and Spur Galop by Fred S. Allen, arr. Ray Cramer

My America arr. Joyce Eilers

Beau Monde (premiere) by Jack Stamp

Dedicatory Overture is being played in honor of those who have lost their lives since the MCMB last performed in 2019, including former band members Steve Hornyak, Bud Westphal, Dr. Charles Janovsky, and Michael Boo. By playing specific favorites of each musician, later in the season, these gentlemen will be honored individually.

Stitches in Time: A Second Piece is the MCMB’s 2020 commission. The three-movement composition is based on quilt patterns. Composer Meredith Brammeier teaches at California Polytechnical Institute in San Luis Obispo, and earned degrees from the University of Southern California, Eastman School of Music, and Princeton University.

Beau Monde is the MCMB’s 2021 commission. It is an exciting and creative adaptation of the famous 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.

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.

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2020 Season Cancelled

Due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 concert series of the Michigan City Municipal Band has been canceled.

 

The decision was based on health considerations for the band members. We do not want to put anyone’s health at risk.

 

We measured the performance space in the amphitheater. Following general physical distancing guidelines of at least six feet between people, we would only be able fit about half the band on the stage. (Experts on aerosols are suggesting that nine to fifteen feet between musicians would be safer.)

 

Throughout the pandemic, we have been researching safe practices for musicians and audiences. It would not be difficult for our Washington Park audiences to stay safe, as long as they adhered to physical distancing. Unfortunately, none of the papers, commentaries, or videos released thus far about the aerosol distribution from musical instruments is based on peer-reviewed scientific study. Fortunately, more than 85 professional music associations are collaborating to fund empirical research that will be undertaken at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Maryland. Colorado State University is planning a similar inquiry. These studies will commence soon, with Phase One data (individual instruments) ready for initial review in July. Phase Two (instruments in rehearsal rooms and performance spaces) will take place this fall.

 

The Michigan City Municipal Band wishes everyone a happy, safe, and healthy summer. We look forward to the 2021 concert series, which will be our 153rd season. We expect our first concert in 2021 to be Thursday, June 10.