2023 marks the 155th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band. The 2023 concert series will consist of ten free Thursday concerts, beginning June 8, and ending August 10. 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 MCMB also plays for the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery, and in the Michigan City Patriotic Parade.
Highlights of the summer concert series include special guest soloists and two commissions by award-winning composers. Soloists will be GySgt. Hiram Diaz, euphonium, from the US Marine Band (August 3); and Anne Marie Bice, soprano (June 22 and 29, and July 13). Other soloists and special events will be announced during the season.
The world premiere of Blue Water, Blue Sky by Catherine McMichael will take place on August 3. Also on August 3, the Concerto for Euphonium and Band by Tom Davoren will showcase the band with world-class euphonium soloist GySgt. Hiram Diaz, in three beautiful and dazzling movements.
In addition to being outstanding performers, many of the band members are also successful conductors. Some of those conductors will be featured on individual compositions throughout the summer.
Jeffrey Scott Doebler is the conductor for the MCMB, and Quincy Ford is the assistant conductor. 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. He is founder and conductor of Windiana: Professional Concert Band of Northwest Indiana. Mr. Ford, principal saxophone in the MCMB, is retired director of bands from Michigan City High School.
The fourth concert of the 154th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, June 30, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. The concert will celebrate Independence Day.
The June 30 concert repertoire will be:
March: The National Game by John Philip Sousa
Someone to Watch Over Me by George Gershwin – Anne Marie Bice, soprano
Moon River by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer – Anne Marie Bice, soprano
Castles in Europe by James Reese Europe
American Riversongs by Pierre LaPlante – Charles Steck, conductor
On a Hymnsong of Lowell Mason by David Holsinger – Charles Steck, conductor
A Time to Dance by Julie Giroux
A Prayer for Peace by John Williams
Amber Waves of Grain by James Curnow
A Patriotic Festival by Mark Williams – Anne Marie Bice, song leader
The Stars and Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
Guest soprano 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 Gershwin, Henry Mancini, and Johnny Mercer.
Conducting two selections will be Charles Steck, who serves as conductor of the LaPorte City Band and associate conductor of the LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra. Prof. Steck teaches trumpet at Valparaiso University and performs with many local ensembles.
John Philip Sousa composed The National Game in 1925 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of baseball’s National League. Mr. Sousa was a baseball fan, and the Sousa Band had its own baseball team, on which Mr. Sousa served as pitcher. Audience members will hear baseball bat solos in the final section of the march, and will be encouraged to cheer when our batters get a hit!
Soprano Anne Marie Bice will be featured on two of the most famous songs in the great American song book: Someone to Watch Over Me by George Gershwin, and Moon River by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.
Castles in Europe is a Ragtime march by James Reese Europe, who became the first African-American bandmaster in the US Army. Maestro Europe was famous throughout the United States before World War I with his society orchestras, which were somewhat similar to ensembles like the Sousa Band. Mr. Europe’s society orchestras played lots of Ragtime and Jazz, and were among the first to record Jazz music. James Reese Europe became known as the “King of Jazz.” At the height of his fame, and with the Great War just underway, James Reese Europe enlisted in the New York National Guard. Lieutenant Europe was charged with forming an outstanding band. His band became the 369th Regiment, and was the first African American regiment sent to France. The 369th Regiment earned a reputation for being especially tough in combat.
We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Charles Steck, conductor of the LaPorte City Band. Maestro Steck will guest conduct two selections with the Michigan City Municipal Band. American Riversongs was created by Pierre LaPlante, and includes many famous songs, including Shenandoah, The Glendy Burke, and Down the River. On a Hymnsong of Lowell Mason is based on the famous hymn My Faith Looks Up to Thee. It is especially appropriate, because the hymn’s composer, Lowell Mason, is considered the father of American music education.
The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
8-10-23 America the Beautiful
America the Beautiful
O Beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee.
And crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.
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