by Liz Snyder
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is performing its traditional pre-fireworks concert July 4 in Wolfenbuttel Park.
The theme is, naturally, patriotic tunes. “This concert is a real slice of Americana — with marches, American folk melodies and songs reaching all the way back to the Revolutionary War,” says Craig Gall, the band’s conductor. “We’re covering music from the American Revolution, the Civil War and the 20th century.”
Though the program is filled with traditional favorites, audiences will also hear a piece that is new to the Pops Band this summer: “Our Own Red, White and Blue” by Henry Filmore.
In the spirit of the July Fourth holiday, we offer a patriotic quiz, with the answers provided by the pieces on the program:
1) Which patriotic song was originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees”?
“Yankee Doodle.” Audience members will hear the familiar tune as part of Clare Grundman’s “The Spirit of ’76,” which features songs from the Revolutionary War era, including “Washington’s March at Trenton,” “Yankee Doodle,” “Norah, Dear Norah” and “Chester.”
2) What are the official marches of the armed services?
“U.S. Field Artillery March” (Army), “Anchor’s Aweigh” (Navy), “U.S. Marines on Parade” (Marine Corps), “Army Air Corps March” (Air Force) and “Semper Paratus” (Coast Guard). Those marches are part of the band’s annual “Salute to the Services Medley,” finishing the concert with an echo “Taps,” the national anthem and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
3) What piece of music is considered our national hymn?
“God of Our Fathers,” which Gall calls “a fine arrangement by Thomas Knox,” a former staff arranger for the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., popularly known as “the President’s Own” band.
4) Which John Philip Sousa tune is the national march of the United States?
By a 1987 act of the U.S. Congress, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” is the official national march of the United States of America. And it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without hearing this tune!
5) Which Sousa march was used as theme song for the British TV comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”?
“The Liberty Bell.” Also, the U.S. Marine Corps Band has played “The Liberty Bell” march at four of the last six presidential inaugurations, in 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2013.
6) Which Sousa march was supposedly named for “the explosive sounds of the drum and bugle?
“The Thunderer.” One of Sousa’s most popular marches, the 1889 tune was used on ABC News as election music from 1968 to 1972.
7) Which Sousa march was derived from an 1896 operetta?
“El Capitan.” The piece was Sousa’s most successful stage work.
8.) What Irving Berlin tune became the signature song of singer Kate Smith?
“God Bless America.” Also, over the decades, the 1938 song has earned millions for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to whom Berlin assigned all royalties.
9) What Civil War battle was fought July 1 to 3, 1863?
The battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Garrett Kornman, the band’s assistant conductor, is directing the band on “Gettsyburg,” from the 1993 movie about the epic battle.
10) When asked to list the three top “street marches” ever written, Sousa listed two of his own compositions, plus a third one he didn’t write. Name that march.
“National Emblem.” The march was written in 1902 by Edwin Eugene Bagley.
The Pops is also performing “Within These Hallowed Halls,” a setting of “Amazing Grace” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by James Swearingen. The band’s master of ceremonies, Greg Berg, will read the song’s narration, which includes quotes from U.S. presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.