This material covers the 8th and final concert of the season – Friday, July 25th, 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 conclude the 2014 summer season, a celebration of 155 years of presenting community concerts in Medina, on Friday, July 25th, 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 (John) Williams, King, Galante, Prokofieff, Perfect, Lopez and Anderson-Lopez, Silvestri, and Sousa. Medina Community Band is sponsored by the Medina Community Band Association, a standing committee of the Medina Breakfast Kiwanis Club. Featured guest conductor will be Dr. Patricia Grutzmacher, Kent State University, Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.
The ice cream social for the evening will be presented by the Medina Creative Housing.
Dr. Patricia Ann Grutzmacher (pictured at right) is Professor Emeritus and coordinator of music education at Kent State University. She teaches music education courses at the graduate levels and serves as the Capstone coordinator for the online Master of Music in Music Education degree program. From 1983-2009 she was the director of instrumental music at Kent State University Stark Campus where she taught courses in music education, world music, music history, applied oboe, directed chamber ensembles, and founded and conducted the Kent State Stark Concert Band.
Dr. Grutzmacher was coordinator of the KSU Stark Campus Music Department from 2001-2009. She is a diplomate of the Sudler Order of Merit presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation to recognize her contributions to the excellence of bands and band music performance. Her biography is included in the 1998, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, and 2005-2006 editions of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. In April 2001 she was presented an award by the American Association of University Women for her achievements in programming and promoting university diversity events.
She is a past recipient of the Kent State University Stark Campus Distinguished Teaching Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Akron, a master’s degree from the Ohio State University and a doctor of philosophy degree from Kent State University. In 2010 the University of Akron awarded her the title Outstanding Music Education Alumnus. She has conducted high school honor bands for the Ohio Music Education Association Districts VIII and VI, in Wayne, Medina, and Tuscarawas Counties of Ohio, in Twinsburg, Ohio, and has guest conducted at OMEA conferences. She served as the curriculum director for a summer arts-focused English language camp in Zalecze Wielkie, Poland, and is a volunteer teacher in summer arts camps in Poland sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation, New York City.
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.
Star 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.”
John Williams (b. 1932) (pictured at left) studied composition at UCLA with Mario Castelnueovo-Tedesco and later attended the Juilliard School. In 1956, he started working as a session pianist in film orchestras. He has composed the music and served as music director for over 70 films, including Jaws, E.T., Star Wars, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler’s List. Williams has been awarded two Emmys, five Oscars, and 17 Grammy Awards, as well as several gold and platinum records. From 1980 to 1993, Williams served as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has written many concert pieces and is also known for his themes and fanfares written for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Olympics.
Williams created so many stunning marches to accompany the Star Wars motion pictures that they had to be combined in one powerful piece. The arrangement features: "Star Wars (Main Theme)," "Parade of the Ewoks," "The Imperial March," "Augie’s Great Municipal Band" and "The Throne Room.” (J.W. Pepper)
The bandstration has been done by Jerry Brubaker.
Karl L. King (pictured at right) joined the circus when he was 19 years old at a time when the circus world was in great need for composers to write special music for the various acts. King’s unique ability and uncanny knack allowed him to write and arrange just to the needs of the circus world.
King played an important role in the Iowa Band Law, state legislation giving municipalities the right to levy a small tax to support a municipal band. He was also one of the first march composers to write special music for the growing school band programs in America. In addition to writing marches, he also wrote overtures, waltzes, and other selections that could be used for individual concerts or massed band performances.
Aces of the Air march, was copyrighted in 1942 and was one of a number of marches placed in his “Marching to Victory” band folio, which contained 15 other march selections. The designation of “ace” began during World War I and was awarded to a pilot who was credited with five confirmed enemy planes shot down.
Although King wrote 300 works during a half-century of composing, he rarely ran out of notes. He did; however, run out of titles and presumably asked the Barnhouse publishers to name this march and the other 15 which he wrote for the folio and each was given a patriotic title. These folios were widely used by military bands throughout the second world war and, now, are very popular with school bands, community bands, and professional bands of all levels. The arrangement was done by James Swearingen.
In correspondences dated April 22nd, and November 19th, 1942, King refers to his new “Marching to Victory” folios and indicated that he originally wanted to publish the folio himself; however, was unable to raise the funds and allowed Barnhouse to publish it for royality. The sale of the folio helped King remain solvent during that time. (Thanks to Gene Milford for additional information and pointing me to the King website).
A Childhood Remembered. A native of New York, Rossano 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.
The Winged Stallion. This heroic composition captures the majestic beauty of the mystical winged stallion, “Pegasus.” The composition was commissioned by and dedicated to the Hofstra University Symphonic Band, Peter Boonshaft, director, and published in 2012.
A Childhood Remembered was performed at the 2013 Midwest Band Clinic by the Lockport Township High School Wind Symphony of Illinois. According to the composer’s program notes, the piece “was inspired by my late partner Douglas Howard Vought, a very gentle, kind-hearted man…Although the music evokes joy, energy, innocence, and hope, there is the slightest undercurrent of sadness…I believe all of us would like to re-live those joyous moments of our childhood, so close your eyes and let the music take you back to that simple time of life.”
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.
Athletic Festival March, Op. 69, No. 1
Sergei Prokofiev (pictured at right) was often the “bad boy” of Russian music, falling from favor at one time and then surging back into favor at other times. It was all about artistic freedom, living and writing music at “the pleasure of the state.” Yet, through it all, his music inspired and brought joy to Mother Russia, and the world.
Prokofiev’s music in the 1930s reflected the concept of “serious-light” music that would reach and influence the large mass audiences of the emerging modern Soviet Russia. Lieutenant Kije Suite (1934), based on legend/story and written as a film score, was an example of music of this time.
Born in 1891 in Russia, Sergei Prokofiev exhibited exceptional musical talent as a child. Tutored at the piano by his mother, he wrote a number of piano pieces, including six marches, when he was five. At nine, he wrote the piano score to the opera Giant. He entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory at the age of 13, where he studied with Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov and Tcherepnin. His travels after graduation took him to the United States, but he found the political and cultural climate of Paris in 1920 to be more sympathetic to his compositions. He retained his Russian citizenship and returned there in 1936, where he lived until his death in Moscow. His death was overshadowed by that of Joseph Stalin, who died the same day.
One way in which Prokofiev attempted to uplift and glorify the Soviet people was through the march, a genre that can be found throughout his works. The most famous example is undoubtedly from the opera Love for Three Oranges, a parody of the nineteenth-century Meyerbeerian-Verdian ceremonial march.
Prokofiev began composing marches for wind band in the mid-1930's, precisely during the period when he retuned to the Soviet Union. His first was Athletic Festival March or March for the Spartakiad from 1935, in which he imagined a festival march for millions of young Soviet athletes. The composer himself had been interested in athletics from his youth. In this work, he is not only writing in the triumphant, positive vein for the glory of Soviet Russia, but also in the festive tradition of much nineteenth-century Russian music by composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. Here Prokofiev has interspersed a basic march theme with more tuneful “Russian” melodies and has kept dissonance to a minimum. The form, in keeping with Prokofiev's style, is clear cut, using rondo elements and exact reprise.
Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the 2013 Disney animated film Frozen. The soundtrack features 10 original songs written and composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, (pictured at left) and twenty-two score pieces composed by Christophe Beck. It features the song "Let It Go" (film version performed by Idina Menzel; single version performed by Demi Lovato), which received critical acclaim, including an Academy Award win for Best Original Song and a Critics' Choice Award for Best Song, as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song.
Canadian composer Christophe Beck (pictured at right) started piano lessons at five, and by eleven he was learning Bee Gees songs by ear and performing with his first-ever band, the unfortunately-named Chris and The Cupcakes. During high school he studied piano, saxophone, and drums, and wrote many tender 80's love ballads.
While studying music at Yale, Beck wrote two musicals with his brother Jason (a.k.a. Gonzales, the Paris-based pianist-producer-TV Host-prankster), as well as an opera based on "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe.
Upon graduation, Beck moved to Los Angeles to attend USC's prestigious film scoring program, where he studied with Jerry Goldsmith. A personal recommendation from the legendary Buddy Baker, head of the USC Music Department, led to his first assignment for a Canadian TV series called "White Fang." Several TV series later, he was asked to score the second season of WB Network's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Beck received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for his score to the "Buffy" episode, "Becoming, Part 1."
In 2000, the cheerleading comedy "Bring It On" launched Beck's film career, which has included such credits as "Under the Tuscan Sun," "Saved," "The Pink Panther," "We Are Marshall," "Year of the Dog," "What Happens in Vegas," and more recently, "The Hangover," now the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.
Frozen was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, the film tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey alongside a rugged mountain man, his loyal pet reindeer, and a hapless snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have inadvertently trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.
Frozen underwent several story treatments for years, before being commissioned in 2011, with a screenplay written by Jennifer Lee, and both Chris Buck and Lee serving as directors. It features the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontana.
Two editions of the soundtrack to Frozen were released by Walt Disney Records on November 25, 2013: a single-disc regular edition, and a two-disc digipak deluxe edition (containing original demo recordings of songs and score compositions, unused outtake recordings, and instrumental versions of the film's main songs). On October 21, 2013, the soundtrack's lead single, a cover of "Let It Go" by Demi Lovato was released. Subsequent releases have been accompanied by foreign language translations of "Let It Go".
The album received widespread critical acclaim from music critics and debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 chart. As of May 7, 2014, the soundtrack has sold over 2.6 million copies in the U.S. and has topped the Billboard album chart for thirteen non-consecutive weeks. The album has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and peaked at No. 1 on the aforementioned chart, becoming the fourth soundtrack album from an animated film to reach that milestone. (Wikipedia)
Albert John Perfect (pictured at left) 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: 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).
Goin’ Home – Antonin Dvořák.
It has been said that Dvorak's (pictured at right) themes in his symphony were inspired by American folk melodies, especially Afro-American or American Indian. But his themes are just as similar to Bohemian folk music. These opening lines are from "Goin' Home,"based on the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's famous "Largo" theme from his Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), Op. 95. His symphony was composed while he was in America and was first performed by the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall on December 16, 1893.
Did Dvorak have anything to do with writing the words to"Goin' Home"? Not directly.
"Goin' Home"was actually written by one of Dvorak's pupils, William Arms Fisher (1861-1948), who adapted and arranged the Largo theme and added his own words. This is part of what Fisher wrote in the published sheet music of his song, "Goin' Home" (Oliver Ditson Company):
The Largo, with its haunting English horn solo, is the outpouring of Dvorak's own home-longing, with something of the loneliness of far-off prairie horizons, the faint memory of the red-man's bygone days, and a sense of the tragedy of the black-man as it sings in his "spirituals." Deeper still it is a moving expression of that nostalgia of the soul all human beings feel. That the lyric opening theme of the Largo should spontaneously suggest the words 'Goin' home, goin' home' is natural enough, and that the lines that follow the melody should take the form of a negro spiritual accords with the genesis of the symphony. William Arms Fisher, Boston, July 21, 1922. (Comments from Roger Hall)
John 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
National Game (John Philip Sousa) Touring musicians often turned to baseball for amusement in their leisure time on the road, and Sousa’s band had its own baseball team that played teams from rival bands, with Sousa as the pitcher. Sousa was such an avid baseball fan that he once auctioned his conductor’s baton to raise funds for baseball equipment for the sailors at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station outside Chicago. The picture above, probably 1900, is alleged to have been taken at the Paris Expo. Sousa, seated middle first row (with beard), was the pitcher, and his son, John Philip Sousa, Jr., in uniform, second row last on left.
He wrote “The National Game” for the 50th anniversary of baseball’s National League (1925) and dedicated it to the first major league Baseball Commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
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.
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 25th, 2014