Marshall Municipal Band to open 85th season Thursday

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Marshall Municipal Band, which holds the distinction of being the second oldest city band in the state of Missouri, will open its 85th season Thursday evening, May 25, with a concert and ice cream social at the Marshall Senior Center, 72 W. Morgan.

The ice cream social, hosted by the senior center, will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children. The free concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.

"Musical variety is the cornerstone of our concerts," said Marshall Municipal Band Director Kevin Lines. "Each week of the season you will hear a brand new concert which always includes a wide range of musical styles."

Lines said three distinct styles of Marshall are slated for this year's opening concert. "First is the ever-popular Sousa march 'The Washington Post.' It will be contrasted by insanely fast circus march 'The Big Cage' and finally the imperial German march 'Die Wacht Am Rhein Marsch.'"

The first overture of the evening, "American Folk Rhapsody" by Clare Grundman, will have a true "red, white and blue" feel to it. Among the songs the rhapsody is based on are "Sweet Betsy from Pike," "Sourwood Mountain," "Shantyman's Life" and "My Little Mohee."

"Grundman is a mainstay in American band literature and we are excited we were able to add several of his works to our library during the off-season," said Lines.

Another mainstay of American band literature is Leroy Anderson. The band has two Anderson tunes on Thursday's concert bill, "Blue Tango" and "Serernata."

The band will also perform local favorite "The Missouri Waltz."

"I am always on the watch for new quality literature and this next selection was brought to my attention by a friend of mine in the music publishing industry," said Lines. "Based on the well-known hymn 'It Is Well With My Soul,' James Swearingen's 'Flight of Valor' is respectfully dedicated to the heroes of United Flight 93 who tragically lost their lives in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001. Reflective, intense, somber and inspiring are but a few of the words that best describe the emotional make-up of this composition."

As it has for decades, the band will hold fast to two traditions Thursday -- first opening with the "Star Spangled Banner" and then closing with a final trilogy including a hymn and wrapping up with the march "Uncle Sammy." For this week's concert, the concluding medley will include the hymn "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" arranged by Robert W. Smith, followed by Bob Lowden's medley "Armed Forces Salute."

"The band is very excited about bringing another season of quality music to the people of Marshall and the surrounding area," Lines said. "We hope everyone will take an opportunity to experience the gem of Marshall, the Marshall Municipal Band."

Contact Mark Lile at

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