July 18, 2014

Medina Community Band

This material covers the 7th concert – Friday, July 18th, 2014, 8:30p – 9:30p

Site: Medina’s Uptown Park Square (intersections of Rtes. 18, 42, Broadway and Liberty Street). We have been notified by the Mayor of Medina that there is to be no concert parking behind Marie's Cafe, Lager & Vine Gastro Pub & Wine Bar, or 4 Ladies & More Consignment Boutique. This includes lot between Lager and Vine and Four Ladies and more. The owner has posted it as private lot and tow away zone and cars will be towed.

Cancellation of concerts due to the weather will be posted on the website!

MEDINA:  Medina Community Band will continue with the 2014 summer season, a celebration of 155 years of presenting community concerts in Medina, on Friday, July 18th, 2014, at 8:30p, in Medina’s Uptown Park Square Gazebo.  

The Medina Community Band is under the baton of conductor Marcus Neiman, celebrating his 42th summer concert series, with associate conductors Frank Cosenza, Edward Lichtenberg and Thomas Walker. The approximately 60 minute concert will feature works by Rossini, Eilenberg, Block, Diaz, Galante, Lampe, Norman, McCartney, Bricusse and Newley, Kmoch, Park, and Sousa.  Medina Community Band is sponsored by the Medina Community Band Association, a standing committee of the Medina Breakfast Kiwanis Club.  

The ice cream social for the evening will be presented by the Project Learn. The concert is dedicated to the memory of composer, arranger, editor, and band director Bill Park.


Bill Park

Music Educator, Composer, Arranger and Conductor

August 3, 1936 – August 6, 2013

Bill Park taught elementary and secondary instrumental music for over 35 years in Ohio and Michigan. He held a bachelors degree in education from Bowling Green State University and had pursued graduate work at Eastern Michigan and Cleveland State Universities. He will be most remembered as the director of bands at North Royalton High School and North Royalton Middle School.

His band and ensemble music are published by Band Music Press, JPM Publishers and Great Works Publishing, and are performed throughout the U.S. and have been included on several state contest lists. Additional works are published by his company, Dynamic Music.  Articles on the topics of bands and education have been published in Bandworld and Instrumentalist Magazine.

Bill Park was president of BandMusic PDF Library, Inc., the free online library of band sheet music from the golden age of the town band.  As a volunteer, his activities included content preparation, coordinating volunteers and music donations.  His writing includes release notes and annotations for music posted on the website, and providing the data that keeps the machinery of the website running. Park handled correspondence with contributors and was in charge of each release of music through the webmaster.  The library serves patrons from around the world and provides sheet music for bands from the USA and Canada, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia.  

Beyond the school setting, his conducting experience includes directing the Perrysburg (Ohio) Suburban Singers for four seasons. With the Suburban Singers and Perrysburg Community Orchestra, he conducted Handel's Messiah plus theatrical productions ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to Victor Herbert.

Mr. Park was the founding director of North Royalton Community Band in which capacity he served from 1998 to 2009. A number of his compositions and arrangements were premiered by the band.  As director of the community band, he is credited with conducting over 100 performances.

Our Conductors

Marcus L. Neiman has been conductor of Medina Community Band since the fall of 1972 and has served as conductor of the ensemble longer than any previous conductor in the ensemble’s history.  He retired from posts held with the Medina County Schools Educational Service Center in 2010 (1980 through 2000 as fine arts consultant and 2000 through 2010 as director of fine arts tours and festivals). He was formerly director of bands at Medina High School (1972 through 1980). He attended the Akron Public Schools, received his bachelor of science in music education degree from The University of Akron, master of music in music education degree from The University of Michigan, postgraduate hours at The Kent State University, and The University of Akron.

He was appointed as the interim assistant director of bands and administrator for the division of bands at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University in May of 2010 and held that position through May of 2011. Currently, he teaches their “Music Teaching as a Profession”  and “Instrumental Methods for Choral and General Music Majors” courses, supervises music education student teachers, and assists with outreach and recruiting.  In addition, he has chaired the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) district six junior high-middle school large group adjudicated event for the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Kent State.  Prior to his arrival at Kent State University, Neiman was a part-time lecturer for the music department at Case Western Reserve University with major responsibilities of teaching their “Foundations of Music Education” course and supervising music education student teachers from April 2004 through May of 2010.  He also supervised visual arts education student teachers for The University of Akron.

Neiman is a founding trustee and past president of both the Medina County Arts Council and Medina County Performing Arts Foundaton and has served as music director for productions by both Medina County Show Biz Company and Brusnwick  Enteratinment Company.  He has served as a committee member on the City of Medina Uptown Park Committee and Arts Under the Stars committee.  A past member of Medina Noon Kiwanis Club he was a member of the class of ’94 Leadership Medina County.  He was awarded the Leadership Medina County “Excellence in Education Leadership” in June of 2014, the sixth recipient of the award in Leadeship Medina County’s history.

Neiman has served OMEA as a member of the governmental relations and adjudicated events committees, district president, vice-president, state chair for Music In Our Schools and public relations, state editor of their professional journal TRIAD, and state chair for their council of supervisors.  He was elected by OMEAs membership to serve as state president from July 1, 1998 through July 1, 2000, and is currently OMEAs state historian.  He was awarded OMEAs highest honor, the “Distinguished Service Award” on January 29th, 2010 at the Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Neiman has been published in Music Educators National Conference journal MEJ, The Instrumentalist, The School Musician, The Music Educator, OMEAs TRIAD, FANFARE magazine, and Bands of America Newsletter.  His first book, edited for MENC, entitled Life in the Music Classroom, was published by MENC in April 1992.  He is listed in Marquis “Who’s Who in America (58th Edition).

Neiman has appeared with junior high/middle and high school, college and university, community bands, and American Federation of Musicians union professional bands as a guest conductor and in his characterization of famed bandmaster John Philip Sousa in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, (state of) Washington, and Wisconsin.  On October 15, 2004, Neiman conducted the Volga Concert Band in Saratov, Russia in a Sousa-style concert following a week’s residence in Moscow and Saratov.  In addition to conducting the Medina Community Band (since 1972), he formed his own professional touring band -- The Sounds of Sousa Band -- (in 1992) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the formation of Sousa's first non-military band.  To this date he has performed for over 200,000 people in the role of Sousa.  

Neiman’s goal has always been to preserve the presence and character of the traditional “town-band.”  There are no auditions, membership dues or fees, or chair placements in the ensemble.  Membership is open to adults who desire to continue their growth as instrumentalists.  In addition, Neiman has encouraged composers to write for the band.  Over the years the band has commissioned works by Douglas Court, Robert Feldbush, Stuart Ling, Edmund J. Siennicki, Tadd Russo, and David Shaffer. Neiman is a member of numerous professional organizations including the National Association for Music Education and Ohio Music Education Association, National Band Association, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Neiman is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi (University of Michigan Nu chapter, and honorary Beta Pi at Kent State University).  He is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (national leadership society – The University of Akron (Theta Circle). He and his wife Mary Ann, who is a professional clarinetist and program administrator - preparatory and continuing education department for the Cleveland Institute of Music, reside in Medina with their two cats Sasha and Dmitri. 

Frank T. Cosenza, assistant conductor, (right) received a bachelor of music degree from Bowling Green State University and a master of music degree from The University of Akron.  He is a veteran band director of 32 years experience and retired from the West Geauga Local Schools where he was a four-time recipient of the Excellence in Education Award.   He was called from retirement to serve as interim director of Athletic Bands/Concert Band at Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music for the 2012-2013 academic year where the Marching Golden Flashes performed in the MAC Conference Championship and the Go Daddy.com Bowl. His groups have performed at Severance Hall for the Northeast Ohio Wind Band Invitational, the Ohio Music Education Association State Conference,  the American School Band Directors Association State Conference, Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Ohio School Boards Association Conference.  Additionally, his groups have performed at the University of Akron Band Clinic, Hiram College, Cleveland Browns halftime, the Cleveland Indians and performances in Florida, Michigan, Georgia and Canada. Concert bands under his direction have received consistent superior ratings at large group contests.  He has served on the Content Validation Panel for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and has been on the staff of American Music Abroad taking student musicians to Europe and performing in numerous countries.  Mr. Cosenza is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu- International Bandmasters Fraternity and the American School Band Director’s Association. As a member of the Ohio Music Education Association, he has served as state treasurer/trustee, district president, member of music selection committees, contest chairman and current adjudicator for large group and solo & ensemble events.  He has served as a clinician in Nevada and throughout Ohio and is currently an assistant director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band.  Mr. Cosenza is co-principal trumpet with the W.D. Packard Concert Band and Big Band Sound of Warren, and has played with many artists including Frankie Avalon, The Manhattan Transfer, Wayne Newton, Johnny Mathis, Holiday On Ice, and the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus.  He is a Conn-Selmer artist and maintains a private brass studio.

Edward Lichtenberg, assistant conductor, (at left), Ed retired in 1998 as assistant superintendent for Midview Schools in Lorain County after 32 years in education.  Before becoming assistant superintendent, Ed was a middle school administrator and director of bands at Midview, where his concert bands consistently earned superior ratings in OMEA Class “A.”  Prior to working 30 years for Midview, Ed was director of instrumental music at Linden McKinley High School in Columbus.

Ed has been a member of the Medina Community Band since 1993.  He was also active as an Ohio Music Education Association and as a staff member for the Ashland University Adult Music Camp.   Ed has performed on clarinet or saxophone with Sounds of Sousa Band, the Lorain Pops Orchestra, the Doc McDonald Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Band, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and many small groups.  He has also conducted concert bands throughout Europe for American Music Abroad.

Ed is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Kent State University, and has done post-graduate work at Ashland University, Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, and Kent State University.  He studied clarinet with Oliver Shubert, George Waln, Robert Marcellus, and Donald McGinnis.

Ed has been married to his wife, Judy, for 45 years.  Judy was supervisor of gifted education for Medina City Schools and retired in 2000.  Their children, Rob and Beth (Burdick), are also active in music.  Rob, a systems engineer for Level-3, has performed on trombone with the Medina Community Band and the Sounds of Sousa Band.  Beth, a coordinator of gifted education for the Strongsville City Schools and North Royalton City Schools, has performed on flute with the Medina Community Band.  Beth’s husband, Christopher, is assistant director of bands for North Royalton schools and has performed on trumpet with the Medina Community Band, the Sounds of Sousa Band, and many small brass ensembles.  

Thomas L. Walker, assistant conductor, is currently retired from teaching instrumental music in Arkansas where he taught for 37 years.  He graduated from Marked Tree High School and later attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR where he received his bachelor of music education, master of music education, and specialist in community college teaching.  He is currently working on his doctorate at ASU. Thomas also was a member of the Arkansas Army National Guard for 37 years.  He spent his career in the Guard as a Field Wireman, Combat Engineer, Musician, First Sergeant, and Battalion Command Sergeant Major. Thomas is now living in Akron, OH with his wife, Rhonda Gail Davis.

Medina Community Band

The Medina Community Band traces its beginnings back to 1859, when a group of local residents got together (some with formal training - others without) to perform music for the community.  That first "community band" was called
The Medina Silver Cornet Band, probably since the instruments the musicians used were primarily "silver" cornets or percussion. Then, as now, the band performed on the public square.  Medina's uptown park was set aside in 1817 and cleared in 1819.  During the next two decades, the park was used as a parade ground for local militia and for town celebrations.  In the 1840s, the square was enclosed with a white picket fence to keep cattle being driven to market off the square.

During the 155-years that the band has been in existence there have been 20 directors. Marcus Neiman serving the longest in that role.  The band probably existed at the pleasure of the square's business community, who often funded the season and encouraged patrons to attend the concerts.  The performance night has changed over the years, in most cases at the urging of the business community, and season concerts have been given on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.  Friday evenings have been the day of choice since the 1950s (or before).

It should be stated that the Medina Community Band was only one of many bands in Medina Community.  Almost every town had its own band, and a just a few to mention were the Litchfield, Lodi, Seville, Spencer, and Wadsworth bands.  There were also school bands (from both the city and county districts) and even a Boy Scout band (in Westfield Center).  The Medina Community Band’s name evolved over the years as the Medina Silver Cornet Band, Medina Band, Grand Army of the Republic Band, Knights of Pythias Band, and now the Medina Community Band.

The size of the band varied from 15 to 20 musicians through the end of last century, into the 50 and 60s through the 1940-1960s, and now boasts almost 100 members on its personnel roster.  It should be understood that the "band" did not always perform in the Gazebo.  During those early years, the band played on various corners of the square.  There was for a few years a band stand, which was destroyed by fire.  The "bandstand" on the north side of the square was large enough to seat a 100 piece band (somewhat tightly, but would accommodate that size group), which the current Gazebo will only allow 30 to 35 players.  The band itself determines "who will play" based on attendance at practice or business and vacation schedules.

It is interesting to note that members of the band travel from all parts of Northeastern Ohio to play with the group.  Entire families (from grandparents to grandchildren are members of the band and it is most common to find husbands and wives, or parents and children playing in the group.  The Medina Community Band's membership is open and there are no dues or auditions; however, members are expected to maintain a regular attendance.  The band rehearses on Wednesday evenings September through July, providing three to four concerts during the fall, winter, and spring months both at home and on the road.  The band also presents an 8 to 10 concert summer season in Medina's Uptown Park Gazebo.

Medina Community Band is sponsored by the Medina Community Band Association composed of members of The Medina Kiwanis Breakfast Club. Membership in Medina Community Band is open and there are no dues or auditions; however, members are expected to maintain a regular attendance.  The band rehearses on Wednesday evening from 7p until 9p in the band room of Highland High School (4150 Ridge Road, Medina) September through May; and, in the choral room of Medina High School (777 East Union Street, Medina) June through July. The band provides three to four concerts during the fall, winter, and spring months both at home and on the road.  The band also presents their popular summer series every Friday, June through July, in Medina's Uptown Park Gazebo.  Each year the band presents at a winter concert, annual "Sousa Style Concert," and the popular "Sousa Concert" at EHOVE Career Center (Milan, OH). For additional information on the 2013-14 concert season or Medina Community Band, contact Neiman at 330.725.8198 or MarcusNeiman@medinacommunityband.org.

Program Notes

http://www.globetrot.us/stulinks/3StuLinks/8nation/Francis_Scott_Key.jpgStar Spangled Banner (John Stafford Smith arranged by John Philip Sousa) uses lyrics from a poem written in 1914 by Francis Scott Key – pictured at right, a then 35-year-old amateur poet, after seeing the bombardment of Fort McHenry at Baltimore, Maryland, by Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a London social club.  Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song.  It was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889 and the President in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. Most prominent among them was “Hail, Columbia” which served as the de facto national anthem from Washington’s time and through the 18th and 19th centuries.  Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs would emerge to compete for popularity at public events, among them “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Gioachino Rossini (pictured at left) was the son of a trumpet player. He studied in Balogna and spent most of his creative life in Venice and Milan. He composed operas, religious, choral, orchestral, and band works. Several of his operas are staples of the repertoire.

He composed at a terrific speed, completing 38 operas in 23 years. He suddenly and mysteriously quit writing operas at the age of 37 and spent 10 years completing his Stabat Mater. He ultimately settled in Paris and was the witty leader of the artistic world until his death. He was highly regarded as a cook and his dinner parties were renowned. He invented a number of recipes including Tournedos Rossini, a perennial favorite.

While it has been said that Rossini wrote only to please the public, his William Tell proves that he could write for posterity, because the reforms which he inaugurated in this opera led directly to the school adopted by Verdi, Boito, Leoncavallo, Mascagni and other modern composers.  William Tell was first produced at Paris in 1829.  The libretto is founded on a French translation of Schiller’s famous drama of the same title.  

The action includes the famous incident of the cruel tyrant Gessler who condemns Tell to shoot an apple from the head of his little son to punish Tell for insubordination.  Later, as he is to be imprisoned, he escapes from his captors during a terrific storm.  Hiding in the mountains, the patriot succeeds in shooting Gessler as he passes far below, and is hailed by the Swiss people as their liberator.

The overture, which the band will play only the Finale, is among the best of its kind and is one of the most popular in the entire range of orchestral literature.  The material employed depicts the mood and atmosphere of the Tell legend but bears no relation, thematically, to the story of the opera itself.  The overture consists of four definite sections:  the serene prelude, depicting a peaceful mountain scene (the orchestra version originally scored for five cellos); the tempestuous episode, foreshadowing the storm scene in the opera; the pastoral with its “Ranz desa Vaches,” the neatherds signing bits of song between blasts on their horns, as they assemble the grazing cattle (this for English horn and flute); the brilliant finale with its military march and spirited melodies which carry the listener to a convincing climax.

Petersbourgh Sleighride, Op. 57 –  Richard Eilenberg.  

Richard Eilenberg (pictured at right) was born on January 13th, 1848, Merseburg, Germany and died on December 6th, 1927 in Berlin, Germany.  His grave is located on the South-West Cemetery of the Berlin Ecclesiastical Assembly in Potsdam.

His musical career began with the study of piano and composition. At 18 years old, he composed his first work - a concert overture. As a volunteer he participated in the Franco-Prussian War from 1870 to 1871. In 1873, Eilenberg became the music director and conductor in Stettin. In 1889, he decided to move to Berlin as a freelance composer, where his second marriage with his wife Dorothee started. They lived on 73 Bremer Street.

Eilenberg composed marches and dances for orchestra, harmony and military music, and a ballet The Rose of Shiras, op. 134. He also composed the operettas Comteß Cliquot (1909), King Midas, Marietta, and The Great Prince. The most notable music that he composed were his marches, including The Coronation March (for Alexander III of Russia), and Janitscharen-Marsch, op. 295.

Some of his music pieces, attributable to the salon and its entertainment, were The Petersburg Sleigh Ride op. 52 and The Mill In The Black Forest, op. 57 (1885). Eilenberg completed 350 compositions throughout his life. The arrangement for wind band was done by F.H. Greissinger and edited by Bill Park.

Puffer Bellies – Bill Park.

In this colorful setting of a traditional children's song, the music has three sections.  In the first, the melody is harmonized and the music goes straight through the song. In the second, the piece continues with a snare drum solo in a very slow open roll, accelerating through to a faster roll, accompanied by “I think I can, I think I can” spoken by the band (as in “The Little Engine that Could.”  And, in section three, the arrangement presents the melody in a round. Train whistles and other effects abound throughout.

louisiana rag coverLouisiana Rag – Leon M. Block.

Leon M. Block was born November 21st, 1825 and died in May of 1969. Little is know about Block other than his birth to Bavarian immigrant Louis Block and his Illinois native wife Harriet (Cook) Block.  What we do know is that Block was a working musician by 1906 in Chicago or St. Louis.  

Louisiana Rag was published by Will Rossiter in 1911 and sold well.  The composition was dedicated to “Miss Irene Howley” who was a Chicago Stenographer and was 18 years old in 1911.  That’s all that’s known abouther.  (Information from Bill Edwards)

The bandstration was done by Bill Park.

Third Army March – Gregorio A. Diaz.

http://www.pattonthirdarmy.com/band/04.%20CWO%20Gregorio%20A.%20Diaz,%20c.%201945%20adj.jpgGregorio Diaz (pictured at right) was born in a poor village in the Canary Islands and left home when he was 12. He had made his way  to Mexico, crossed into the United States in 1924, and went right to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he enlisted in the 7th Cavalry’s band. He apparently had learned clarinet and saxophone while playing in a youth band in his home village.

In the Army, he moved among several different bands in Colorado, Panama and Washington, becoming leader of the 61st Ground Forces band on June 7, 1944, the day after Allied forces landed in Normandy on D-Day, according to his military service record.

Third Army March – Gregorio A. Diaz wrote Third Army March in 1945, but never heard it. And, the march was not played and recorded until Diaz had been dead for 24 years.  The first recording and performance were on November 6th, 2013 by the United Statres Army Concert Band.

Lawrence A. Devron, a former Army French hornist with the Army Band in the 1960s, rediscovered the march only to find that the then current Third Army March was “Patton March,” from the 1970 film “Patton.”  In 2012, no one had ever heard of the march Diaz had written in 1945.  Devron worked for the Army records management and declassification agency, and was visiting Shaw Air Froce Base in South Carolina, the main command post of U.S. Army Central.

During the visit, Devron was touring part of the installation with the command’s archivist, Kathy Olson, when he spotted a drum major’s mace and sash in a trophy case. Upon further investication, he found a piece of manuscript that was dated April 10, 1945 with the title “Third Army March.”  Warrant Officer Gregorio Diaz was 39 when he composed the march in Germany.  The dedication reads Respectfully dedicated to Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. and the gallant officers and men of the Third U.S. Army.

Diaz originally wanted to call the march ‘The General Patton March;’  however, the general decided the march should simply be call ‘Third Army March.’  The march is a “pass in review” march that lasts about three minutes, enough time to allow a band to pass in front of a reviewing party.  It’s a light, European-style march – more festive than martial.

Devron’s research found that the Third Army became an administrative headquarters in the United States and then deactivated in the 1970s.  Olson, the archivist, indicatd that she believed that the band was also deactivated then.  The march faded into obscurity.  Devron got a copy of the condensed score via email, but found that it was too difficult to extrapolate a full score from the condensed score and asked the Army to research to find the parts in its library.

A modern revision of the march, complete with full score, was done by Lt. Silas N. Huff, associate conductor of the United States Army Band.  (taken from Washington Post article by Michael E. Ruane, November 29th, 2013).

http://s3.amazonaws.com/static.musicsalesclassical.com/images/composer/galante.jpgRossano Galante (pictured at left) studied trumpet performance at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He went on to study film scoring at the University of Southern California, where he studied with composer Jerry Goldsmith (known for soundtracks to Alien, Gladiator, and the Star Trek movies). Galante’s film credits as composer or orchestrator include Big Fat Liar, Scary Movie 2, and Tuesdays with Morrie. He has received commissions from the Amherst Chamber Orchestra, the Hofstra University Symphonic Band, the Nebraska Wind Symphony, and the Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Redemption.  This lyric, lush, romantic composer captures the euphoria one experiences after being saved from emotional crisis. Published in 2011, the work was dedicated to the composers mother, Enrica.

Watermelon Club – Jens Bodewalt Lampe (at right) was born into the large and musical family of Christian and Dorothea Lampe in Ribe, Denmark, in 1869.  A cobbler by trade, his father played tuba and bass violin in the summers with the band at the Tivoli Theater in Copenhagen, and several members of the family became well-known musicians.  In 1873, when J.B. (as he was later called) was four, his father accepted an offer to direct the Great Western Band in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the family moved to America.  

In addition to a number of military style marches, Lampe composed many ragtime and two-step marches.  In 1900, when Creole Belles was composed, ragtime was beginning to be the big “noise” in American popular music.  Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag became the first ragtime sheet music best-seller in 1899.  In 1900, the Sousa Band helped to popularize ragtime in Europe during its prolonged tour there.  Creole Belles March with its strong syncopation over a steady rhythmic accompaniment, rapidly became a favorite with band audiences everywhere.  The Sousa Band, with either Arthur Pryor or Herbert L. Clarke conducting, recorded the tune five times between 1902 and 1905.  

Watermelon Club Rag This new edition of a piece by J.B. Lampe was written to honor Ed Ballenger: friend, educator, musician and circus band enthusiast. During his lifetime this was Ed's all-time favorite ragtime music. He felt that Watermelon Club by J.B. Lampe was the best rag ever written.  The modern arrangement was done by Bill Park.

Music from the Movies – James Bond Suite arranged for band by Frank Erickson.  Several James Bond numbers have become “classics” in their own right.  From the suite, we have selected three that stand out in their own right.  The first is James Bond Theme taken from the movie “Dr. No.”  The movie hit the screen in 1962 and starred Sean Connery as James Bond, the first of the series.  Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, adapted by Richard Mailbaum, Johanna Harwood, and Berkely Mather, the movie was directed by Terence Young and provided by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli.  Monty Norman was invited to write the soundtrack and John Barry, who would later write music for eleven Bond films, arranged the Bond theme, but was uncredited.

Live and Let Die (1973) was the eighth spy film in the James Bond series.  It starred Roger Moore as Bond and was produced by Saltzman and Broccoli and directed by Guy Hamilton. The film was a box-office hit and also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Live and Let Die” written by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by Wings.  This was the first time a rock and roll song was used to open a Bond film, and became a major success in the United Kingdom and the United States.  The Olympia Brass Band had a notable part in the film, leading a funeral march for a soon to be assassinated victim.  Trumpeter Alvin Alcorn played the killer and the piece of music the band played at the beginning of the funeral march was “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” followed by “Joe Avery’s Piece” after the killing.

Goldfinger  (1964) was the third film in the series and the third to star Sean Connery as Bond.  Produced by Broccoli and Saltzman it was Hamilton’s first as director. John Barry composed the score for the film and described his work in Goldfinger as his favorite.  The musical tracks, in keeping with the film’s theme of gold and metal, make heavy use of brass and metallic chimes.  The film’s score is described as “brassy and raunchy” with “a sassy sexiness to it.”  The film is said to have started the tradition of Bond theme songs being from the pop genre or using popular artists.  The song was composed by John Barry, with lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.  

Clare Ewing Grundman (pictured at left) is one of the most prolific and highly respected composers for band on the American scene today.  He is represented in one publisher’s catalogue with nearly 50 works for band, in addition to other media.

Grundman grew up in Ohio earning both bachelor of science and master of arts degrees at The Ohio State University.  From 1937 to 1941, he taught arranging, woodwind, and band at OSU and during World War II, he was a member of the US Coast Guard.  He credits Manley R. Whitcomb with first encouraging him to write for band and Paul Hindemith with providing practical techniques for composition.

Grundman’s activities also include scores and arrangements for radio, television, motion pictures, ballet, and Broadway musicals.  His arrangements have been used by many well-known entertainers including:  Carol Channing, Marge and Gower Champion, Sid Caesar, and Victor Borge.  He has taken a special interest in composition for school bands, and his works have been performed by school and college bands throughout the country.  

http://pages.uoregon.edu/bandadm/OregonAthleticBands/History_files/shapeimage_3.pngAlbert John Perfect (pictured at right) was born on Sunday, May 25, 1873, in Skede parish, Sweden.  Perfect proved to be an unusually gifted musician. An accomplished clarinetist, he attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm, where his interests also included composing, arranging, and conducting. Soon after graduation, an energetic, persistent—and presumably entrepreneurial — 20-year old Perfect led his very own concert band on a three-month tour of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Russia. Apart from his studies in Berlin with bandleader Karl Freiburg, we know little of Perfect’s activities during the next 13 years. In 1901, however, Perfect resolved to leave his home and create a new life in the United States.

Traveling directly to Chicago with clarinet in hand, Perfect soon found work. He performed regularly with cornetist A. F. Weldon’s band while conducting two ensembles of his own: the Viking Band of Chicago and Evanston’s Aeolus Municipal Band. Perfect remained in Chicago until about 1912, when he accepted a position at the State Normal School of North Dakota in Valley City. He established several bands in Valley City: they included a municipal band; a women’s band; and a select group called the North Dakota Consolidated Band, which appeared on regional Chautauqua programs.

With respect to his musical compositions, the Valley City years proved quite fruitful for Perfect. Limiting his work to popular musical forms, he found a publisher for his burlesque, curiously titled “Alkali Ike: A North Dakota Misunderstanding.” An arrangement of “Alkali Ike” for theater orchestra enjoyed national popularity during the 1915–16 season. Also in 1915, Boston publisher Walter Jacobs released Perfect’s “Swedish Fest March.”  Perfect was convinced to relocate to Eugene, Oregon in late September of 1915 to become band director at The University of Oregon, conduct the Eugene High School Band, and form the Eugene Municipal Band.  Perfect also wrote the fight song for University of Oregon, Mighty Oregon, but that’s another story.

Alkali Ike's Misfortunes MasterprintAlkali Ike: A North Dakota Misunderstanding (1915).  The arranger of this piece, David Seiberling of Cameron, North Carolina and friend of Conductor Marcus Neiman of Medina (OH) Community Band, for whom the arrangement was written, provided information about how this title came about.  Keep in mind that it was written for theatre orchestra, not concert band and Seiberling’s arrangement is the first known for modern concert band.  Seiberling commented that the only connection was probably the silent movie and the music would have been played on piano originally and perhaps growing into a theatre orchestra piece.  

Since Perfect conducted several bands in Valley City, he probably did lots of other writing for the community and it would not be too farfetched for him to also write for local silent movie piano player.

There is a solo piano rendition of the piece, published in 1915 under the name Albert Perfect, Valley City, North Dakota.  And an indication that there was a band and orchestration supplied by Alford-Colby Music Library, Chicago, Illinois. Harry Alford was doing a great deal of arranging at that time.  

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was a miner name Ike Masters who had a mine on the Alkali Flats, along the Alkali River, near Sturgis, South Dakota, which is close to Deadwood.  Ergo, they called him “Alkali Ike.”  This was a huge mining country in those days.  In Lead, SD, only about three miles from Deadwood, the largest, deepest, and most productive gold mine in the western hemisphere exists as well as smaller mines all over the Black Hills.

Deadwood attracted lots of men and women of colorful character.  This is where Wild Bill Hickok was killed and Calamity Jane is buried (right next to Wild Bill, even though the only affair they had was in her mind).  Would it be too much to think that Alkali Ike would have been a regular visitor to the saloons and gambling halls of Deadwood?  Perhaps, but the subtitle is “A North Dakota Misunderstanding.”  Maybe, just maybe, Ike came from North Dakota?  

There also was a 1911 American black and white film entitled Alkali Ike’s Automobile directed by E. Mason Hopper.  The cast include Augustus Carney (Alkali Ike), Harry Todd (Mustang Pete), Margaret Joslin (Betty Brown, the widow), and Arthur Mackley (the man in an apron). The plot involved Alkali Ike and Mustang Pete. Both men were after the same woman’s affections, probably the widow Betty Brown.  Ike had a horse, but Mustang Pete had a horse and carriage.  She chose Pete.  So, Alkali Ike traded his horse for an automobile.  That didn’t help and the car turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. Watching the silent movie on YouTube and listening to the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s playing of the Perfect music, the music does fit the film!

There is a reference in the music for the percussion to reproduce the sound of horses’ hoofs, and this could have been the type of music that would have been played during a silent movie. No “ooga horns,” at least not yet! No explanation can be found for the child’s song at the trio, which is actually “Reuben and Rachel,” written by William Gooch in Boston, 1871.  

Yet another reference comes from a character who got his start on a 1950s Arthur Godfrey show and had a dummy named Alkali Ike; however, since the piece was written in 1915, this reference would be much after the fact.  

Finally, or at least for this reference at this time, According to Levi Strauss history, "Alkali Ike" was a prospector who convinced Strauss to adopt metal rivets based on the ones used by a tailor, Jacob Davis. But that was back in the early 1870s since Davis and Strauss patented the rivets in 1873. According to the New York Times, that Ike was Daniel Burrows who died in Wyoming, May 24, 1904:

Grand Encampment, Wyoming, May 24 – Daniel Burrows, familiarly known on the frontier as “Alkali Ike,” is dead at his cabin, near Fort Steele. He came to Wyoming 40 years ago from Independence, MO., and may have been a friend of “Bill” Nye. He was well a well-known frontier character and was with General Miles in many of his Indian fights.

“Alkali Ike” seems to have become a generic prospector folk character.  There is a reference to an 1898 Alkali Ike Festival in Omaha, which implied that “Alkali Ike Festivals” were a genre of events, and a reference and photo of an “Alkali Ike Wild West Show” in Alaska in 1909, and of course Augustus Carney did 50 short films in that character starting with the “automobile” film in 1911, as well as the “Alkali Ike’s Misfortune” posters.  It seems there were even Alkali Ike dolls for kids.  Of the 25 shorts with Alkali Ike as character, none have an actual subtitle “A North Dakota Misunderstanding;” but, they are very similar.


And, there could be association with Deadwood that arises from Ike Masters also adopting the already famous name.  The image above is from an old postcard from Deadwood that shows a prospector with a sign behind him saying, “Alkali Ike panning for gold.”  Note the misspelling on the postcard at left.  There could be a link between the movie series and the music – even if Perfect was simply capitalizing on the famous name of the time.

All these discussions come from a conversation Seiberling had with a lady in Deadwood, SD on or about June 9th, 2014).

Andulka MarchFrantišek Kmoch.

Composed by the Father of Czech band music, František Kmoch (pictured at right), this march is based on a Czech folksong.The piece is characterized by a light-hearted mood. In a modern edition by Bill Park, wrong notes have been corrected, all the phrasings, articulations, dynamics and other elements are clarified and kept parallel throughout the piece

František Kmoch was born in Zásmuky, near Kolín, Bohemia. His father was a tailor and a clarinetist who performed folk music. As a child, František learned to play the violin, and by the age of 10 he was already beginning to compose small pieces.

In 1868 he was studying at the Teachers College in Prague, and by 1869 he had become a teacher in Suchdol, Bohemia. In addition to his occupation as a teacher, he zealously performed in several ensembles, continued to develop himself as a conductor, and composed. In 1873 he was excluded from further assignment as an instructor, allegedly because he had neglected his teaching duties, preferring instead to appear with performing ensembles at balls. It has been suggested, however, that the dismissal was a political decision, since Kmoch did not conceal his sympathies for the nationalistic Sokol athletic movement.

In 1868 he became conductor of the Sokol Wind Orchestra in Kolín. During the 1873 Gymnastics Festival in Prague the Orchestra played a prominent role in the opening ceremony, and visitors who attended the event warmly received the wind orchestra's offerings, both original compositions by Kmoch and arrangements of well-known folk songs. (Wikipedia)

SousaJohn Philip Sousa (pictured at left) wrote the most famous American military marches of all time, including "Stars and Stripes Forever," earning him the nickname "the March King"; he was also known as a great bandleader, and organized the famed concert and military group, Sousa's Band. Born in Washington, D.C., on November 6, 1854, Sousa followed in the footsteps of his father, a musician in the U.S. Marine Corps, and enlisted by the age of 14. Before this, Sousa had studied violin with John Esputa. While active in the Marines, he composed his first march, "Salutation."

Around the age of 16, Sousa began studying harmony with G.F. Benkert, then worked as a pit orchestra conductor at a local theater, followed by jobs as first chair violinist at the Ford Opera House, the Philadelphia Chestnut Street Theater, and later led the U.S. Marine Corps Band (1880-1992). Although most famous for his marches, Sousa composed in other styles as well, including a waltz, "Moonlight on the Potomac"; a gallop, "The Cuckoo" (both in 1869); the oratorio "Messiah of the Nations" (1914); and scores for Broadway musicals The Smugglers (1879), Desiree (1884), The Glass Blowers (1893), El Capitan (1896; which was his first real scoring success), American Maid (1913), and more.

Sousa formed his sternly organized concert band in 1892, leading them through numerous U.S. and European tours, a world tour, and an appearance in the 1915 Broadway show Hip-Hip-Hooray. Sousa's Band also recorded many sides for the Victor label up through the early '30s. His most famous marches include "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1897), "U.S. Field Artillery March," "Semper Fidelis" (written in 1888, it became the Marine Corps anthem), "Washington Post March" (1889), "King Cotton" (1895), "El Capitan" (1896), and many more. In addition to writing music, Sousa also wrote books, including the best-seller Fifth String and his autobiography, Marching Along. Actor Clifton Webb portrayed Sousa in the movie about his life entitled Stars and Stripes Forever. The instrument the sousaphone was named after this famous composer and bandleader. ~ Joslyn Layne, All Music Guide

Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa) The march is considered the finest march ever written, and at the same time one of the most patriotic ever conceived.  As reported in the Philadelphia Public Ledger (May 15, 1897)  “ ... It is stirring enough to rouse the American eagle from his crag, and set him to shriek exultantly while he hurls his arrows at the aurora borealis.”  (referring to the concert the Sousa Band gave the previous day at the Academy of Music).

The march was not quite so well received though and actually got an over average rating for a new Sousa march.  Yet, its popularity grew as Mr. Sousa used it during the Spanish-American War as a concert closer.  Coupled with his Trooping of the Colors , the march quickly gained a vigorous response from audiences and critics alike.  In fact, audiences rose from their chairs when the march was played.  Mr. Sousa added to the entertainment value of the march by having the piccolo(s) line up in front of the band for the final trio, and then added the trumpets and trombones join them on the final repeat of the strain.

The march was performed on almost all of Mr. Sousa’s concerts and always drew tears to the eyes of the audience.  The author has noted the same emotional response of audiences to the march today.  The march has been named as the national march of The United States.

There are two commentaries of how the march was inspired.  The first came as the result of an interview on Mr. Sousa’s patriotism.  According to Mr. Sousa, the march was written with the inspiration of God.

“I was in Europe and I got a cablegram that my manager was dead.  I was in Italy and I wished to get home as soon as possible, I rushed to Genoa, then to Paris and to England and sailed for America.  On board the steamer as I walked miles up and down the deck, back and forth, a mental band was playing ‘Stars and Stripes Forever.’  Day after day as I walked it persisted in crashing into my very soul. I wrote it on Christmas Day, 1896.”

The second, and more probable inspiration for the march, came from Mr. Sousa’s own homesickness.  He had been away from his homeland for some time on tour, and told an interviewer:

“In a kind of dreamy way, I used to think over old days at Washington when I was leader of the Marine Band ... when we played at all public functions, and I could see the Stars and Stripes flying from the flagstaff in the grounds of the White House just as plainly as if I were back there again.”

“Then I began to think of all the countries I had visited, of the foreign people I had met, of the vast differences between America and American people and other countries and other peoples, and that flag of ours became glorified ... and to my imagination it seemed to be the biggest, grandest, flag in the world, and I could not get back under it quick enough.”

“It was in this impatient, fretful state of mind that the inspiration to compose ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ came to me.”

Irving Berlin (pictured at right). With a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasted over 1000 songs, Irving Berlin epitomised Jerome Kern's famous maxim, that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music - he is American music".

Irving Berlin was born Israel Berlin in May 1888. When his father died, Berlin, just turned 13, took to the streets in various jobs, working as a busker, singing for pennies, then as a singer / waiter in a Chinatown café. In 1907 he published his first song, Marie From Sunny Italy and by 1911 he had his first major international hit, Alexander's Ragtime Band

Over the next five decades, Irving Berlin produced an outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs that defined American popular song for much of the century. A sampling of just some of the Irving Berlin standards included: How Deep Is the Ocean?, Blue Skies, White Christmas, Always, Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better, There's No Business Like Show Business, Cheek To Cheek, Puttin' On The Ritz, A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody, Heatwave, Easter Parade, and Lets Face The Music and Dance. In a class by itself is his beloved paean to his beloved country, God Bless America

God Bless America. The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were huge, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith. Kate was also large in size, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, "Ain't over till the fat lady sings". Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.

Kate was also very patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country.

When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before - way back in 1917. He gave it to Kate Smith and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

The Medina Community Band

Marcus Neiman, conductor

Frank Cosenza, Ed Lichtenberg and Thomas Walker, associate conductors

Friday Evening, July 18th, 2014

8:30 p.m.


National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner (1889) Francis Scott Key/John Philip Sousa

Overture, Finale to William Tell (1829) Gioachino Rossini/Louis Philippe Laurendeau

Seasonal, Petersbourgh Sleighride, Op. 57 (1885) Richard Eilenberg/F.H. Greissinger/Bill Park

Setting, Puffer Bellies (2005) Bill Park

Ragtime, Louisiana Rag (1911) Leon M. Block/Bill Park

March, Third Army March (1945) Gregorio Diaz/Silas N. Huff

Tone Poem, Redemption (2011) Rossano Galante

Ragtime, Watermelon Club    Jens Bodewalt Lampe/Bill Park

Movie Music, James Bond Suite   arranged by Frank Erickson

James Bond Theme (1962) Monty Norman

Live and Let Die (1973) Paul & Linda McCartney

Goldfinger (1964) John Barry

Alkali Ike (A North Dakota Misunderstanding)   Albert John Perfect/David Seiberling

National March, The Stars and Stripes Forever (1896) John Philip Sousa

Patriotic, God Bless America (1917) Irving Berlin/Erik Leidzen

In memory of Bill Park