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 third concert of the 155th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, June 22, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.
The June 22 concert repertoire will be:
Sound Off March by John Philip Sousa
Quiet City by Aaron Copland
Blinding Lights by The Weeknd
I Saw Him Standing There by The Beatles
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon
Danca Brasileira No. 2 by Ricardo Alves da Silva
Benediction by John Stevens
Rhythm Stand by Jennifer Higdon
Tribute to Whitney Houston arr. Michael Brown
A Patriotic Festival arr. Mark Williams
In addition to being outstanding performers, many of the Michigan City Municipal Band members are also successful conductors. On five concerts this season, conductors from within the band will be featured, each leading one composition. On June 22, Frank Gast will conduct Blinding Lights by popular artist Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as “The Weeknd.” Mr. Gast serves as director of bands at Michigan City High School. He is a graduate of Ball State University and Chesterton High School. Mr. Gast plays trumpet in the Michigan City Municipal Band and has been a member of Windiana Concert Band.
John Philip Sousa composed Sound Off March in 1885, when he was conductor of the US Marine Band. He formed his own professional band in 1892. While on tour in 1914 and 1924, the Sousa Band played concerts in Michigan City. Since Sound Off March was on the program for the 1924 tour, it is likely that this composition was played by the Sousa Band 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. One of his most haunting and beautiful works is the lyrical Quiet City. Quiet City allows us to showcase two of the virtuoso soloists in the Michigan City Municipal Band: Andria Kessler on English horn, and Rick Carlson on trumpet.
Guest soprano soloist, Anne Marie Bice, is a voice professor from Valparaiso University. Ms. Bice has extensive performance experience, sings in a wide variety of styles, and has been soloing with the Michigan City Municipal Band since 2015. Prof. Bice will sing music by The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel.
Brazilian musician Ricardo Alves da Silva serves as resident composer for the Banda Sinfonica Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His composition, Danca Brasileira No. 2, was commissioned as part of a series sponsored by the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, an organization dedicated to international music education.
The harmonies and the placement of the accents in this work give us the feeling of a Brazilian dance.
John Stevens is a retired tuba professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His Benediction, composed originally for tuba/euphonium quartet, showcases the beautiful blended sounds of the concert band.
Jennifer Higdon teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, as well as three Grammy Awards. Dr. Higdon’s music has been performed around the world, and she has been commissioned by ensembles that include the National Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony. According to Dr. Higdon, Rhythm Stand “pays tribute to the constant presence of rhythm in our lives, from the pulse of a heart beating to the rhythmic sounds of the world around us.”Continue reading
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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