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.
To help keep musicians and audience members safe, band members will follow strict safety protocols, including bell covers on woodwind and brass instruments, and physical distancing.
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.
The MCMB 153rd Season consists of ten free Thursday concerts, 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.
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. 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 band’s announcer is Rick Carlson.