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 ninth concert of the 155th season of the Michigan City Municipal Band (MCMB) will be held Thursday, August 3, 7:30p, at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park. The concert will feature euphonium soloist Hiram Diaz, and will also present the premiere of the MCMB’s 2023 commission, Blue Water, Blue Sky by Catherine McMichael.
In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the auditorium of Michigan City High School, 8466 W. Pahs Road.
The August 3 concert repertoire will be:
Pride of the Marines March by Austyn R. Edwards
Concerto for Euphonium and Band by Tom Davoren
Sobre Las Ojas (Over the Waves) by Juventino Rosas
The Basses are Loaded by Kelly Bennette
Tripwire by JaRod Hall
Blue Water, Blue Sky by Catherine McMichael (premiere)
Pax by Catherine McMichael
Born to Be Wild by Mars Bonfire, arr. Johnnie Vinson
Audience sing-along: My America arr. Joyce Eilers
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 Concerto for Euphonium and Band by award-winning composer Tom Davoren. The Michigan City Municipal Band commissioned Mr. Davoren to write this three-movement composition.
Catherine McMichael lives in Saginaw, Michigan. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan. Mrs. McMichael teaches at Saginaw Valley State University and also leads the handbell choir at First United Methodist Church in Saginaw. She is an active composer of music for band, choir, orchestra, handbells, individual instruments, and chamber ensembles. A few of her recent commissions include The Canadian Brass, Saginaw Bay Orchestra, Chautauqua Institution, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the New England Conservatory.
Blue Water, Blue Sky contains beautiful themes that represent Lake Michigan, the blue sky at Washington Park, and even an original sea shanty for the band. Pax is a gentle and reflective composition that allows us to envision peaceful sounds and a peaceful world.
Austyn R. Edwards (1891-1977) was a professional trumpet player who taught brass instruments at Valparaiso University, and was conductor of the band at the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant in LaPorte County. In addition to 55 marches, including Pride of the Marines, Mr. Edwards was the author of two important method books for trumpet.
Juventino Rosas (1868-1894) was a Mexican composer and violinst. His composition, Sobre Las Ojas (Over the Waves), is a smooth waltz that audience members will recognize from its frequent use as background music for trapeze artists in the circus.
Kelly Bennette’s composition The Basses are Loaded is a comical way to proclaim that the lowest voices in the band have the melody. Mr. Bennette is professional tuba player and retired music educator with nearly 100 compositions to his credit.
Also from Texas, JaRod Hall is music educator, composer, and professional tuba player. In his program notes from Tripwire, Mr. Hall suggests that the audience imagine “…a team of bandits who must escape a secret hideout without being 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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