The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is performing a program packed with patriotic favorites at 7 p.m. July 4 in Wolfenbuttel Park, downtown at the lakefront in Kenosha.
The band’s musical director, Craig Gall, and Assistant Conductor, Garrett Kornman, work together to put together special holiday concert programs each summer.
This year’s concert theme is “Patriotic Pops” and features “patriotic and march favorites,” Gall said. “The audience can enjoy our concert and stay for the fireworks in this beautiful location along Lake Michigan. We try to have something that will appeal to everyone on this concert.”
Kornman adds, “We hope everyone has a safe — and well-hydrated — Fourth of July.” (His health warning should be taken to heart. the forecast is for another very hot day.)
To help drive home the all-American theme, the band will be performing “American Folk Rhapsody” and “Second American Folk Rhapsody” — both arranged by Clare Grundman. The pieces include traditional folk songs: “On Top of Old Smoky,” “Shantyman’s Life,” “Sourwood Mountain,” Billy Boy,” “Skip to My Lou” and “Shenandoah.” That programming, Kornman jokes, “shows our affinity for Clare Grundman.”
The band is also doubling up on traditional pieces arranged by James Ployhar: “The Original Thirteen” and “Sing For America,” which contains the songs “A Grand Old Flag,” “America” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Kornman said “The Original Thirteen” is “a concert march based on the Revolutionary War tune ‘Chester’.”
During the program, the Pops Band’s master of ceremonies, Greg Berg, will sing “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful” and will lead the audience in singing “On Wisconsin.”
Berg will also do the narration of “Each Time You Tell Their Story.”
“This is a very powerful piece that honors those who have fallen in defense of their country,” Gall said.
Gall will also lead the band on:
– “Gettysburg,” the solemn music from the film.
– “Civil War Suite,” a piece arranged by Harold L. Walters that includes the tunes “Abraham’s Daughter,” “Rally ‘Round the Flag,” “Tenting on the Old Campground,” “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight,” “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
– “The 32nd Division March,” a tribute to Wisconsin’s famous Red Arrow Division. (You can see red arrows on the Highway 32/Sheridan Road signs that honor this group.) Gall says audience members should listen for strains of “On Wisconsin” in the
– “Star Spangled Spectacular,” featuring George M. Cohan tunes “Mary’s a Grand Old Name,” “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”
For his part of the program, Kornman will lead the band on traditional marches and “American Patrol” by F.W. Meacham. “We play this every year on the Fourth — it’s a great arrangement,” Kornman said.
Gall and Kornman will also lead the band on a “Salute to the Services Medley” — including 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).
The march medley will finish with an echo “Taps,” followed by the national anthem and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
The city of Kenosha’s fireworks show will start at the end of the concert, at about 9:30 p.m., and is visible all along the lakefront.
Continental Band performing July 4 Before the 7 p.m. July 4 Pops band concert, the Continental Band will perform, starting at
The Kenosha Unified School District summer band, made up of 125 students who will be in seventh grade in the fall, is directed by Kathy Ripley, the Lance Middle School band director and a member of the Pops Band’s flute section. Her group is
performing “As Winds Dance” by Samuel Hugo; “The Original Thirteen,” arranged by James Ployhar; “Crazy for Cartoons” by
Robert Sheldon; and “Brass in the Basement” by Larry Neeck. That last piece features the band’s low brass and low woodwind.