Wakefield, MA—From New Orleans jazz to Chicago blues, Hollywood hits to Broadway showstoppers, the rich cultural and natural landscapes of this country have inspired countless musicians and composers through the years.
The Middlesex Concert Band weaves together an American tapestry of sound featuring works from several musical genres and composers in Music Made in America on Sunday, March 15, 2015, 3:00 p.m. at the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational Technical School in Wakefield, MA.
The program presents works from some of the country’s best known and best loved composers, running the gamut from Aaron Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait,” featuring a stirring narration of President Lincoln’s words, to John Philip Sousa’s “The National Game March,” a lesser-known march from the baseball lover (and his band’s team pitcher) in honor of the 50th anniversary of the National League. The program also includes two pieces from the esteemed contemporary band composer Frank Ticheli—“An American Elegy,” composed in memory of the victims of the Columbine High School tragedy, and a quiet, expressive arrangement of the American folk song “Shenandoah.”
In choosing which American composers to represent in this program, Music Director Mark Olson had a rich body of work to select from. “Music has played an important part in our culture through the years,” Olson said. “We often have looked to composers to write pieces that commemorate celebrations, memorialize tragic events, as well as provide enjoyable music for dancing and listening. This program offers a great selection of those works.”
Of course, any program examining American music has to include a healthy dose of jazz, and this one is no exception. The iconic Big Band Era favorite “In The Mood,” made famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, will have the audience dancing in their seats. Other toe-tapping numbers include W. C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues,” George Gershwin’s “Strike Up The Band,” and Richard Rodgers “Blue Moon.”
The highlight of the jazz offerings is Allen Vizzutti’s “American Jazz Suite,” written by the virtuoso trumpeter to feature various jazz trumpet styles and techniques. Music Director Olson, who is also an accomplished trumpet player, will put down his baton and pick up his trumpet for this dynamic piece.
Not wanting to overlook the contributions of Hollywood and Broadway to America’s musical landscape, the Middlesex Concert Band also presents “The Golden Age of Broadway,” featuring the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and a salute to that most American of movie genres, the Hollywood Western, and one of Hollywood best-loved composers, John Williams, with Williams’ “The Cowboys.”
This will be an afternoon of exciting and stirring music, paying homage to just a few of the countless musicians who have defined, and continue to enrich, America’s music. In addition to the fabulous music, the audience will enjoy free refreshments and are invited to try their luck in a raffle featuring more than a dozen themed gift baskets.
The Middlesex Concert Band is a nonprofit community band based in Wakefield, Massachusetts that regularly performs concerts in Wakefield, Melrose, and Stoneham and strives to bring affordable entertainment to those communities. Originally founded in the 1950s as a marching band, the group later evolved into a concert band which gave its first performance in the spring of 1975 at Memorial Hall in Melrose. Since then, it has become one of the area’s outstanding community musical organizations, performing in various indoor venues from September through June and presenting a number of free outdoor concerts during the summer months.
Music Made in America takes place at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational Technical School (the Voke), 100 Hemlock Rd., Wakefield, MA. Doors will open at 2:00 p.m. to provide plenty of time to participate in the gift basket raffle. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and children under 12. For tickets and more information about Music Made in America or the Middlesex Concert Band, go to http://www.mcbconcertband.org. For questions about tickets, please contact the MCB box office at firstname.lastname@example.org (or 781-670-7662).