Marshall Municipal Band to feature trio of Sousa marches Thursday, June 12

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
On a blustery evening Thursday, June 5, the Marshall Municipal Band plays while the wind sent clouds racing past overhead. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

The Marshall Municipal Band will continue its summer season Thursday evening, June 12, with a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on the Saline County Courthouse lawn. Everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the band under the direction of Kevin Lines.

The concert will include a trio of well-known marches, beginning the concert with John Philip Sousa's "The Gallant Seventh."

"This work was composed in 1922 for the Seventh Regiment, 107th Infantry of the New York National Guard, and its conductor, who had previously been a member of the Sousa Band's cornet section," Lines said.

"The combined Sousa Band and the Seventh Regiment Band first performed it at New York's famed Hippodrome," he said.

The second march is a well-known work by D. Delle Cese titled "Little English Girl (L'Inglesina)."

"And the third march is another popular English march, 'The British Eighth,' which was dedicated to the members of the immortal British Eighth Army," said Lines.

"And while these two selections are both British Marches, they are quite different. 'British Eighth' is what one would expect a British march to sound like, while 'Little English Girl' almost has the sound of grand opera," he added.

The first overture of the concert is Joseph Skornicka's "Overture Eroica."

The overture is based principally on two themes from Beethoven's Third Symphony, which is unfortunately heard only when performed by a symphony orchestra.

"Skornicka has masterfully transcribed this orchestral music into music for the band," adds Lines.

The year 2008 marks the centennial of the birth of famed American composer Leroy Anderson. This week's concert includes his programmatic work "Horse And Buggy."

"The listener will actually hear the rhythmic clip-clops of horses' hooves as its passengers enjoy a lazy afternoon buggy ride," said Lines.

The second overture of the evening is Robert W. Smith's "Where The Black Hawk Soars," which was written as a commemorative work for the dedication ceremonies of Brooke Point High School in Stafford, Va.

Inspired by the black hawk, which is the school's mascot, this work incorporates a soaring melodic line reminiscent of the hawk's flight.

The band turns next to the music of American composer James Barnes and his "Yorkshire Ballad."

"This is a beautiful work in the English folk song style which displays the sonorous sounds capable by the modern concert band," Lines said.

The concert will conclude with a trilogy of works including a sacred work, a patriotic work and the signature closing march "Uncle Sammy."

"The sacred work is John Ness Beck's 'Assurance,' a musical setting that combines two of the most famous of all sacred melodies in one extremely appealing selection. Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' has been skillfully paired with 'Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine' by Crosby and Knapp," Lines said.

Clare Grundman's "The Blue and The Gray (Civil War Suite)" is the closing patriotic work.

This medley includes: "Kingdom Coming," "Marching Through Georgia," "Tenting Tonight," "The Yellow Rose of Texas," "The Bonnie Blue Flag," "Aura Lee," "Dixie," "Battle Cry of Freedom" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

"This is stirring work by Grundman and a great way to finish the concert," concluded Lines.

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