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By Liz Snyder
Audience members attending the June 24, 2015, Kenosha Pops Concert Band will get to hear two bands for the price of one. Before the Pops Band starts playing at 7 p.m., the band’s guest — the Hartland Community Band, directed by Jack Schulze — will perform a program starting at 6:30 p.m. When the Pops Band takes the stage, the band will be playing songs that take the audience “Through the Decades.” The concert opens with “For Me and My Gal,” a tune from 1917. “That’s the oldest piece on the program and kicks off tonight’s theme,” said Craig Gall, the band’s conductor. “After the opening number, we’ll play songs in chronological order through the decades up to 2010.” Gall said preparing tonight’s concert “was fun. We (he and assistant conductor Garrett Kornman) had to dig a little deeper to pick music and look at copyright dates” to find songs for each decade.
The program will feature:
1920s: “Twentiana,” a medley of several songs from that decade, including “I Want to be Happy,” “Bye, Bye, Blackbird,” “Charleston” and “Tea for Two.” “This is a fantastic arrangement of tunes from the 1920s,” Gall said of the piece, arranged by Hawley Ades.
1930s: Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine.”
1940s: Jerome Kern’s “Long Ago and Far Away,” featuring Pops master of Ceremonies Gregory Berg on the vocal.
1950s: “The Fifties,” a medley arranged by Paul Jennings. “We encompass all the music from the ’50s in this piece — pop music, TV and movie music,” Kornman said. Songs heard — briefly — in this medley include “Tequila,” “Hound Dog,” “At the Hop” and “Satin Doll.”
1960s: “The Windmills of Your Mind,” from the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
1970s: “I Write the Songs,” which was a huge hit for Barry Manilow.
1980s: “Africa,” as performed by the band Toto. The Pops purchased this piece for tonight’s concert.
1990s: “Time to Say Goodbye,” featuring Kornman on the alto saxophone and Nancy Quist on trumpet. This was a huge hit when it was recorded by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. The single, in various forms, topped charts all across Europe.
2000s: “You Raise Me Up,” which was a hit song recorded by Josh Groban. Tonight, Berg is the vocalist.
2010s: The “Captain America March” from the superhero movie.
The CYO Band is selling a “sack lunch” for $5 before tonight’s Kenosha Pops Band concert ($2 more for a second sandwich). The meal — a hot beef sandwich with soda and chips — will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. in the St. Catherine Commons Community Room across the street from Pennoyer Park. Patrons can eat the meal in the community room or take it to the park. Funds raised will go to the Bob Willems Music Scholarship for the CYO Band. Willems, a longtime member of the Pops Band who died in the fall of 2009, was also a supporter of the CYO Band.
(Note: The meal will be served even if the concert is rained out.)
By Liz Snyder
The sound of music will be heard in Pennoyer Park June 17, 2015, when the Kenosha Pops Concert Band opens its 93rd season. (“The Sound of Music” is part of the show, too, but we’ll get to that in a moment.) The concert is called a “Welcome Back Potpourri” — meaning, “it’s a program with lots of variety,” said Craig Gall, the band’s conductor. “We’re playing something for everyone.”
The audience will be asked to take part, too, by joining in on the “Sing-Along of All-Time Hits.”
“We expect heartfelt singing from the audience on these old chestnuts,” Gall said.
Audience members will get help in singing from Greg Berg, the band’s master of ceremonies.
Besides leading the crowd in the sing-along, Berg is also the featured soloist on “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You” by “Music Man” composer Meredith Willson. It’s an old tune — which Wilson wrote for “The Big Show,” a comedy-variety radio program hosted by actress Tallulah Bankhead — but is new to the Pops Band.
Gall is also leading the band on:
•“Rock and Rye Polka,” because “you gotta have a polka in your potpourri,” Gall said.
•“Tres Moutarde (Too Much Mustard)” by British composer Cecil Macklin. The piece was used as a theme song by a daredevil pilot, Gall said, and was played while “he looped the loop. We don’t have stunt airplanes, but we will try to survive this piece, which we’re playing at breakneck speed.”
•“Horse and Buggy” by Leroy Anderson, featuring Jack Plovanich on euphonium.
•“The Glory of the Brass.” This piece was purchased for the band by bassoon player Marsha Lee to honor Russ Hackbarth. The longtime Pops Band volunteer — who manned the concession stand — died in November. “Russ was a brass player himself,” Gall said, “and he enjoyed hearing the Dorf Kappelle German Band (of which Gall is a member) playing this tune.” Ernest Broeniman, the leader of Dorf Kappelle, arranged the piece.
•A medley of songs from “The Sound of Music.” The movie is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but this arrangement also features tunes from the Broadway production that were cut from the film.
•Warren Barker’s arrangement of “Irving Berlin: The Early Years,” featuring some of the composer’s early Broadway tunes.
•“Tölzer Schützenmarsch.” “Tölz is a city in Bavaria,” Gall said, “The march was written for the shooting club or society from that town.”
•“Cinema Paradiso” — from the 1988 Italian film — featuring Garrett Kornman on the alto saxophone.
Kornman is also the band’s assistant conductor and will lead the band on:
•“My Way,” the tune made famous by singer Frank Sinatra. Listen for the band member’s “vocal” parts.
•“Lassus Trombone,” an old trombone smear written by Henry Fillmore. The piece features the Pops’ trombone section: John Schoettler, Tom Frost, Geoff Poole and Erik Ripley.
•“Beguiner’s Luck” by Alec Wilder, who Gall calls “an unsung writer of popular music.”
•A medley of tunes by the Mamas & The Papas, including “Monday, Monday,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “California Dreamin.’ ”
Alluding to the threat of wet weather this evening, Kornman said he hopes “that four-letter word — rain — stays away.” Gall adds, “We’re welcoming our faithful audience back for another great season of great music by a great lake.”
By Liz Snyder
As the Kenosha Pops Concert Band gets set to start its 93rd season — with a performance Wednesday in Pennoyer Park — the group’s conductors are eager for the outdoor concerts to begin. “I’m looking forward to another fun concert season,” Craig Gall, the band’s musical director, said. “We’re hoping Mother Nature cooperates …” “And that the mosquitoes stay away,” Garrett Kornman, the band’s assistant conductor, interjected.
Each week, the concerts feature a theme, which Gall and Kornman “hammer out” over the winter months. “We have some fun themes this summer that should be fun for the band and the audiences,” Gall said. “And we’re playing some pieces that haven’t been heard in a while.”
After the “Welcome Back” concert on June 17 — which features a mix of songs including marches, sing-a-longs, polkas and show tunes — the band is playing “Pops Through the Decades,” highlighting 10 tunes from 10 decades through 2010. “That’s probably our most novel theme this summer,” Gall said. The band’s guest that night is the Hartland Community Band.
Other theme nights include “Latin Lilt” on July 8, with pieces from Spain and Latin America, and “Pops in Technicolor” on July 22. That concert is a program of songs with names of colors in their titles.
The “Technicolor” theme came about when Gall and Kornman went through the Pops Band’s extensive music library and came across several pieces with colors in the title, from “Color Me Blue” — by Kenosha native Will Schaefer — to “The Green Domino.”
Gall is also looking forward to the band’s indoor concert on July 29 at Carthage College.
“It’s been three years since we’ve played an indoor summer concert,” he said. “We will be returning to beautiful Siebert Chapel for ‘Symphonic Pops IV.’ ” The indoor setting, he said, allows the band to perform more symphonic-style pieces with delicate parts that don’t work well in an outdoor setting.
The band is also playing two patriotic-themed concerts — on July 1 and 4 — that will feature Miss Kenosha Kiersten Gonzales as the guest vocalist.
Both conductors are also quick to thank the city of Kenosha for its support. “It says a lot for the city of Kenosha that they’ve supported music like this for more than 90 years. I’m happy to be carrying on that tradition,” said Gall, who has been the band director at Kimberly High School near Appleton for 19 years. Before that, he was the band director for six years in Kenosha at Washington Jr. High School.
He is starting his 13th season as the band’s musical director and has been a member of the Pops Band for 22 years. He also served as assistant director for seven years.
Kornman is also starting his 13th season conducting the band. He also plays saxophone with the group.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back in Pennoyer Park,” he said. “It will be great to be outside again in our great setting, right at the lakefront.”
•June 17: “Welcome Back Potpourri Concert.” “The Pops ushers in the start of our 93rd season with a traditional ‘concert in the park,’,” said Craig Gall, the band’s musical director. “Marches, sing-a-longs, polkas, show tunes and other Pops favorites fill the bill.”
•June 24: “Pops Through the Decades,” featuring songs from the 1890s through the 2010s. The band’s special pre-concert guest is The Hartland Community Band, under the direction of Jack Schulze, which starts playing at 6:30 p.m. (www.hartlandcommunityband.com)
•June 28: “Pops-a-Float.” The Pops Band performs as part of the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade.
•July 1: “Patriotic Preview.” Join the Pops band in Pennoyer Park for a “hassle-free” concert of Independence Day favorites. “Not a fan of the 4th of July crowds and parking problems?” Gall asks. “Join us tonight at the band shell for a no-stress, hassle-free Independence Day concert.” Miss Kenosha Kiersten Gonzales is the guest vocalist.
•July 4: “An American Salute.” Patriotic favorites will be performed in Wolfenbuttel Park before the fireworks, with special commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Miss Kenosha Kiersten Gonzales is the guest vocalist, and the Patriot Guard Riders “will stand with the Pops to salute our veterans,” Gall said. The Continental Band, directed by Brittany Sebetic, performs at 6:15 p.m.
•July 8: “Latin Lilt.” “If the summer temperatures aren’t enough to keep you warm,” Gall said, “the infectious rhythms of Spain and Latin America should do the trick!” The Dave Braun Trio plays on the band shell jazz starting at 6:15 p.m.
•July 15: “Kinderkonzert,” featuring popular children’s favorites played Kenosha Pops-style, Gall said. “Bring the entire family.” “Kinderkonzert,” featuring popular children’s favorites played Kenosha Pops-style, Gall said. “Bring the entire family.”
•July 22: “Pops in Technicolor,” a program of songs with names of colors in their titles. “This unique program features all the colors of the rainbow brought to life through music,” Gall said.
•July 29: Symphonic Pops IV, an indoor concert at Carthage College’s Siebert Chapel. “In a very special summer Pops concert event, the band moves indoors to beautiful air-conditioned Siebert Chapel for an evening of symphonic works for band,” Gall said. Michael Anderle is the guest vocalist. The pre-concert entertainment (starting at 6:15 p.m.) is students in the Panther Band Camp in Wilmot, directed by John Sorensen.
•Aug. 5: “Pops Rewind.” The band finishes the season with a night of band and audience favorites from the summer season
Admission is free.
Audience members should bring lawn chairs or blankets; benches are also provided at the band shell.
The band operates a concession stand, offering the world-famous Pops Band Popcorn, plus candy, soda, water and coffee. Funds are used to purchase equipment for the band.
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is closing its season on Aug. 6, 2014, with a program of favorites from this summer’s performances.
The band’s musical director, Craig Gall, says: “We had another great summer of music making for the Kenosha community. And we appreciate all their support.”
“The band — and the audience — had fun this summer, with a lot of fun themes,” he said, “in spite of the weather being cool — and sometimes rainy — all season.”
He added, “I’d also like to thank all the band members for sharing their talents every week on the band shell, and I’m already looking forward to next summer.”
Assistant Conductor Garrett Kornman said, as he does every summer, “I can’t believe it’s the end of another Pops Band season. It seems to go by so fast every year. This is a great group of musicians, and I really appreciate everyone’s efforts this summer.”
The program features pieces from several of the group’s concerts this summer.
From the band’s “Pops in the Great Outdoors” concert on June 18:
“Green is Green,” an old Bohemian polka arranged by Ernie Broeniman, the director of the popular Dorf Kappelle German Band that plays every fall at Kemper Center’s Oktoberfest.
From the June 25 “The Pops Play Reconcilable Differences” concert:
“Under the Sea” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
“Alpha and Omega” by Paul Yoder. The piece contains the beginnings and endings of several well-known tunes.
Music from “Roots,” the landmark 1977 TV miniseries.
From the July 4 patriotic favorites program:
John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the official national march of the United States of America.
From the July 9 “Pops in Paradise” concert:
The world’s best-ever TV theme — “Hawaii Five-0” by Mort Stevens.
“Songs of Aloha,” a new piece to the Pops Band’s library. “In fact, it’s a new piece period, written in 2014,” Gall said. “It features three very popular Hawaiian songs — ‘Hawaiian Wedding Song,’ ‘Hawaiian War Chant’ and the signature song from Hawaii, ‘Aloha ‘Oe.’ ”
“Prince Igor” by Russian composer Alexander Borodin, with a melody audience members will recognize.
“St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins. “He was a tenor saxophone player,” said Kornman — himself a sax player. “St. Thomas” is “a famous, recognizable jazz piece Rollins wrote in the late 1950s.”
From the July 23 “Pops in Tribute” concert:
“A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch,” arranged by Michael Brown and containing the tunes “They’re Playing My Song,” “What I Did for Love,” “The Entertainer” and “The Way We Were.”
“It’s a nice arrangement of five Hamlisch favorites,” Gall said of the popular movie and theater composer.
A new piece to the Pops Band’s library, “Il Silenzio” (“The Silence”), which showcases the band’s trumpets.
The 1965 Italian piece was written as a memorial and was first played on the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II.
“Big Bands in Concert,” arranged by Bob Lowden. The medley contains “A String of Pearls,” made famous by Glenn Miller; “Intermission Riff,” from Stan Kenton; the Duke Ellington tune “Sophisticated Lady”; and “Opus One,” most often linked to the Tommy Dorsey Band.
“A Salute to Bob Hope,” Warren Barker’s arrangement of songs made famous by Hope and Bing Crosby, including “The Road to Morocco,” “Moonlight Becomes You,” “Buttons and Bows,” “Two Sleepy People” and “Thanks for the Memory.”
From the July 30 “What’s in a Name?” concert:
“The Terry Theme,” written by Charlie Chaplin for his 1952 movie “Limelight.” The multi-talented Hollywood maverick wrote, directed, produced, edited, scored — and starred — in most of his films.
The program will also feature “Old Scottish Melody” — better known as “Auld Lang Syne.” That traditional piece, sung by master of ceremonies Greg Berg, has become the band’s signature sign-off each season.
Gall also said he expects a “surprise guest” to make an appearance on the band shell tonight.
“It’s always sad to see the summer season end,” Gall said, adding, “but we’ll see everyone Dec. 20 at Carthage College for our Christmas concert.”
If you go
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s concert of encores from the 2014 season
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 6, 2014
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, at 35th Street and Seventh Avenue on Kenosha’s lakefront
If your name is Jean, Barbara, Irene, Laura, Caroline … or Julida … you may want to head to the band shell in Pennoyer Park on July 30, 2014.
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s program that night is called “What’s in a Name?”
To “qualify” for this concert, a tune has to have a name in its title.
“This is a unique night of music, with some pieces our audience will recognize — and some pieces they may not have heard of before,” says Craig Gall, the band’s musical director.
Assistant Conductor Garrett Kornman says it took the two of them “a full Saturday of digging through the extensive Pops Band music library to come up with the music to fit this thme.”
Gall will lead the band on:
– Rod McKuen’s song “Jean” from the 1969 movie “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Master of ceremonies Greg Berg will be the vocalist on the tune.
– “Tara’s Theme” from “Gone with the Wind.” (Technically, this song is named for a plantation, not a person, but a name’s a name.)
– David Raskin’s tune “Laura,” the famous theme from the 1944 film noir classic.
– “Julida Polka.” The lyrics include these lines: “I’ve got a girlfriend/She calls me Honey/We go to taverns/To spend her money … Oy ya Julida/Oy ya Julida/Oy ya Julida/She’s the girl for me.” (It’s about a woman named Julida, so it fits the theme.)
– The “Grand March” from Verdi’s opera “Aida” about an Ethiopian princess enslaved by the Egyptians.
– Neil Diamond’s hit “Sweet Caroline.” This piece, Gall says, will involve some audience participation.
– Music from the 1960 film “Spartacus,” starring Kirk Douglas as the slave Spartacus, who rebels against the Romans. (Fun fact: The film became the biggest moneymaker in Universal Studios’ history, an honor it held for a decade until it was surpassed by “Airport” in 1970.)
– “The Terry Theme,” written by Charlie Chaplin for his 1952 movie “Limelight.” The multi-talented Hollywood maverick wrote, directed, produced, edited, scored — and starred — in most of his films.
– A medley of tunes from the Lerner and Loewe musical “Gigi.” Robert Russell Bennett arranged the music for concert band “and this is one of Bennett’s best arrangements of Broadway music,” Gall says. “The transitions are seamless, and there are a lot of great tunes in here,” including “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and “The Night They Invented Champagne.”
– John Philip Sousa’s 1907 march “Powhatan’s Daughter.” (The daughter in the title is Pocahontas.)
– “Irene Overture” by Joseph McCarthy and Harry Tierney. “This dates way back, to 1919, on Broadway,” Gall says. Tunes in the medley include “Alice Blue Gown,” “Irene” and “To Be Worthy.”
Kornman is leading the band on:
– “Ballad for Barbara” by Bill Holcombe. “This piece has been in our music library for years,” Kornman says, “But we haven’t played it in the 20 years or so I’ve been in the Pops Band.”
– Music from 1947 Broadway musical “Finian’s Rainbow,” including the tunes “How are Things in Glocca Morra” and “Old Devil Moon.”
– “Nadia’s Theme,” which was made famous when it was used by ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” as background music for a montage of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s routines during the 1976 Summer Olympics. It is also the theme to the long-running CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”
– “Mack the Knife” by Kurt Weill. “This arrangement by Ken Dye is a different take on the familiar piece,” Kornman says.
If you go
What: Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “What’s in a Name?” program
When: 7 p.m. July 30, 2014
Where: On the band shell in Pennoyer Park, located at 35th Street and Seventh Avenue on Kenosha’s lakefront
Dave Braun Trio playing before the Pops
The Dave Braun Trio — featuring Dave Braun on guitar, his wife Paula on bass and their son Pete on drums — is performing at 6:15 p.m. July 30, 2014, on the band shell, before the Kenosha Pops Band’s program.
Paula Braun also plays flute with the Pops Band, which she joined as a teenager more than four decades ago.
Among the tunes the trio is playing are “Stella By Starlight,” “Body & Soul,” “Invitation” and “Moments Notice.”
The trio is now in its 20th year playing music every Friday night at the HobNob Restaurant.
Dave Braun said it’s rare for a house band to be playing at the same location for that long, but it’s an opportunity he’s cherished since the beginning.
“I have always believed that if you swing and play from the heart, people will come,” he said in an interview in the May 2014 issue of Just Jazz Guitar magazine.
Talking to Ed Benson in the magazine about the trio’s longstanding HobNob gig, Dave Braun said, “If someone requests a tune I do not know, I make sure to learn it before the next Friday.”
He also said the trio “approaches tunes without an agenda. The guitar, bass or drums might suggest a feel or a time change, and we will go with it.”
While the group has seen several changes in sound, the biggest development recently has come from Pete being added to the group, Dave Braun told the Kenosha News earlier this year.
“My son has forced me out of my comfort zone with his youth and different styles of listening experience,” he said. “He’s opened up my playing and helped me stretch out in different ways. He really influences how we play, and there’s more interaction between the group than there ever was before.”
The Dave Braun Trio plays at the HobNob, 277 Sheridan Road, from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday night. For more information, go to www.davebraunjazz.com.
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is performing a program paying tribute to composers and entertainers.
The free concert is 7 p.m. July 23, 2014, on the band shell in Pennoyer Park.
“This is an incredibly varied program,” says Craig Gall, the band’s musical director. “There’s something for everyone, from Dixieland jazz to big band jazz, folk music, Broadway tunes, silver screen music and rock n’ roll. It would be difficult for audience members not to find something they like.”
It’s also difficult, he added, for the band’s members to perform.
“There are a lot of key changes and tempo changes in these medleys,” he said.
Gall will lead the band on:
“A Kingston Trio Folk Song Overture,” arranged by Alfred Reed. The medley features several songs made famous by the folk group, including “The River is Wide,” “Lemon Tree,” “Tom Dooley” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
“The Original Dixieland Concerto,” arranged by John Warrington and containing the tunes “Jazz Me Blues,” “Ballin’ the Jack” and “Dixieland One-Step.” The piece features a dixieland combo made up of Pops members Tim Bell on clarinet, Marv Miller on tenor saxophone, Kevin Velvikis on trumpet, John Schoettler on trombone, Dave Boyd on tuba, Mike Gudbaur on string bass and Jerry Matteucci on drum set.
“A Salute to Jimmy Webb,” arranged by John Cacavas, with the tunes “MacArthur Park,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Galveston” and “Up, Up and Away.” “These are great tunes that people will recognize,” Gall said. “They were recorded by everyone from Glen Campbell to the Fifth Dimension.”
“A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch,” arranged by Michael Brown and containing Hamlisch’s tunes “They’re Playing My Song,” “What I Did for Love,” “The Entertainer,” “The Way We Were” and “One (Singular Sensation).”
“This piece is making its Pops Band debut,” Gall said. “It’s a nice arrangement of five Hamlisch favorites.”
“A Salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes,” a John Moss arrangement of songs made famous by singer Frank Sinatra, including “Strangers in the Night,” “That’s Life” and “The Lady is a Tramp.”
“A Tribute to Elvis,” featuring “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t be Cruel,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” Blue Suede Shoes” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
“Sounds from Kenny Rogers,” a Bob Lowden arrangement including “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “You Decorated My Life,” “Reuben James” and “Lady.”
Another new piece to the Pops Band’s library, “Il Silenzio” (“The Silence”), showcases the band’s trumpets.
The piece fits the concert’s tribute theme, Gall said, because the 1965 tune was written as a memorial piece and was first played on the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II.
Annually on “Liberation Day,” memorial services are held for the men who died to liberate the Netherlands from the Nazis. The day concludes with a concert, at which “Il Silenzio” has always been the concluding piece.
Jazz tunes figure largely in the concert, with “Big Bands in Concert,” arranged by Bob Lowden. That medley contains “A String of Pearls,” made famous by Glenn Miller; “Intermission Riff,” from Stan Kenton; “Sophisticated Lady,” Duke Ellington; and “Opus One,” most often linked to the Tommy Dorsey band.
Assistant Conductor Garrett Kornman will lead the band on two jazz-centered pieces: “Salute the Duke!” that features the Duke Ellington tunes “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Satin Doll,” “Flamingo” and “Perdido,” and “Salute to American Jazz,” a Sammy Nestico arrangement of the jazz standards “St. Louis Blues,” “Birdland,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it aint’ Got that Swing)” and “A Night in Tunisia.”
“That piece covers the big band era, all the way to jazz fusion with a stop at be-bop along the way,” Kornman said.
Kornman is also conducting “A Salute to Bob Hope,” Warren Barker’s arrangement of songs made famous by Hope and Bing Crosby, including “The Road to Morocco,” “Moonlight Becomes You,” “Buttons and Bows,” “Two Sleepy People” and “Thanks for the Memory.”
KUSD Summer Strings performing
At 6:15 p.m. July 23, the students in the KUSD Summer Strings program will perform a program on the band shell before the Pops Band.
The Summer Strings, which had 160 student participants this summer, will play: “Spartacus,” “Beatles Forever,” Arlington Sketches” and “A Lion King” medley.
What: Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “In Tribute” program
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street along the lakefront
Your kind of town is Kenosha, of course, but on July 16, the Kenosha Pops Concert Band is celebrating cities across the globe.
“This is another new theme we haven’t tried before,” said Craig Gall, the band’s musical director. “And it gave us the chance to pull some music out of the Pops library that we haven’t played for many years.”
One of the pieces — “My Kind of Towns” — is a Sammy Nestico arrangement of several well-known tunes celebrating great American cities, including “New York, New York,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Kansas City,” “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)” and “Hooray for Hollywood.”
Another piece — “Manhattan Tower” — has a long history, Gall said.
Gordon Jenkins wrote “Manhattan Tower” in 1946, and it was first issued as a two-disc 78-rpm set on the Decca label. Jenkins also performed the suite in its entirety Ed Sullivan’s TV variety show. The piece combined mood music, original songs, spoken narration/dialogue and sound effects to tell the story of a young man who travels to New York City for a visit.
The original recording was “reprocessed for stereo” in the early 1960s, and that LP release remained in print into the 1970s.
The Pops’ performance features several of the band’s players: Lorraine Mich on French horn, John Schoettler on trombone, Marv Miller on tenor saxophone, Cindy Banaszak on oboe and Tim Bell on clarinet. (This will be a treat for the audience, many who will recall Bell’s many years as the jazz instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.)
A John Philip Sousa tune — “La Flor de Seville” march — is new this summer to the Pops Band’s library. “It’s an old Sousa march that’s new to us and is perfect for this theme,” Gall said.
Other pieces Gall is directing include:
– “The Chicago Tribune March” by William Paris Chambers. The 1892 piece “is a great march by a composer we don’t hear enough. He gives the melody to the French horns, which is probably a breath of fresh air for them instead of the usual upbeats they get in marches.”
– “Night Flight to Madrid,” a Pops Band favorite by Kermit and Walter Leslie. (Fans of NBC’s 1955-1975 “Monitor” radio program may remember this tune as the program’s theme song.)
– “Streets of Athens” by John Cacavas. “This is a charming musical picture of the Greek city,” Gall said.
– “Berliner Luft,” a polka that features snippets of German musical comedy pieces by Paul Lincke.
– The fast-moving Mexican march “Zacatecas” by Genaro Codina.
– “The Great Gate of Kiev,” which is the final movement of the long-form symphonic work “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.
– A medley of tunes from the Broadway musical “Brigadoon,” including “Almost Like Being in Love,” featuring vocals by Greg Berg, the band’s master of ceremonies.
For his part of the program, assistant conductor Garrett Kornman is directing the waltz “In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus” … though Gall (a member of the German band Dorf Kappelle) usually conducts all the polkas and waltzes.
“I’m branching out,” Kornman said, laughing.
He’s also directing music from the Broadway musical “Miss Saigon” and “Saint Louis Blues,” which is an arrangement first done by Glenn Miller for the Armed Forces Band during World War II.
“This version is by Tex Beneke, Glenn Miller’s saxophone player and vocalist,” Kornman said.
Kornman is also conducting “Under Paris Skies,” which he adds is “on our second Pops Band CD ‘A Passport for the Pops,’ which is on sale every week during our concerts.”
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “My Kind of Towns” concert
When: 7 p.m. July 16, 2014
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Rain: If it rains, the concert is canceled
K-L Band performing before the Pops
The KUSD K-L Band — made up of 114 students who will be in sixth grade this fall — is performing at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday (July 16, 2014) before the Pops Band’s program on the band shell in Pennoyer Park.
“These students just finished their first year of playing,” said Geoff Poole, the band’s conductor.
“It’s been an absolute blast to work with these kids,” he said. “They are so enthusiastic, and it’s wonderful to watch them grow as players.”
Poole, an elementary school band teacher for KUSD, adds that “the K-L parents have been a great help this summer, too.”
The band ends its season with the Pops, performing “Asturias” by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz; “Crazy Crocodile” by Dennis Eveland; the Spanish-style tune “Caborico” by Chuck Elledge; the ballad “Rising Star”; and, Poole said, “we close a really energetic piece, ‘Alpha Squadron’ by Greg Hillis.”
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band continues its 92nd season of free concerts in Pennoyer Park with “Pops in Paradise.”
“We’re hoping this infectious music will warm up Pennoyer Park for the first time this concert season … though Mother Nature may have something else in store,” says music director Craig Gall.
The “paradise” theme features several tunes inspired by tropical islands — including the best-ever TV theme (“Hawaii Five-O” by Mort Stevens, which will likely follow audience members home) and “Songs of Aloha,” a new piece to the Pops Band’s library.
“In fact, it’s a new piece period, written in 2014,” Gall said. “It features three very popular Hawaiian songs — ‘Hawaiian Wedding Song,’ ‘Hawaiian War Chant’ and the signature song from Hawaii, ‘Aloha ‘Oe.’”
But Gall is also conducting “In a Persian Market,” a 1920 piece by English composer Albert W. Ketelbey.
“That piece tells a story of a busy market, starting out slowly and building as the caravan approaches the market,” Gall said.
Another non-island piece — “The theme is ‘paradise,’ not necessarily just the tropics,” Gall said — is “The Quiet Village” by Les Baxter.
In his liner notes, Baxter said his 1952 piece takes place in a jungle, “which grows more dense as the river boat slowly makes its way into the deep interior. A snake slithers into the water, flushing a brilliantly plumaged bird who soars into the clearing above a quiet village. Here is a musical portrait of a tropical village deserted in the mid-day heat.”
In 1959, Martin Denny recorded the piece, adding exotic sounds to it. His version was a hit and helped make Hawaiian-style lounge music popular, Gall said.
Gall is also pairing two pieces with ties to Brazil: “But Beautiful” and “The Girl From Ipanema.”
“ ‘But Beautiful’ is from the 1947 Bob Hope/Bing Crosby/Dorothy Lamour movie ‘The Road to Rio,’” Gall said, “and ‘Ipanema’ is Antonio Carlos Jobim’s signature bossa nova song about the girl on the beach in Rio de Janeiro.”
Kenosha native Willis Schaefer composed “Caribeguine,” which Gall describes as “a West Indies-style beguine tune.”
The late Schaefer, who enjoyed a long career composing music for movies and television, was a guest conductor with the Pops Band several years ago.
Another piece on the program — “Jamaican Rumba,” by Australian composer Arthur Benjamin — was written in 1938 and features the percussion section.
Greg Berg, the band’s master of ceremonies, will be the vocalist on highlights from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical “South Pacific,” and audience members will recognize the melody in “Prince Igor” by Russian composer Alexander Borodin, Gall said.
Many of the pieces on the program feature the Pops Band’s percussion section, including the tunes directed by assistant conductor Garrett Kornman.
“These pieces are inspired by the rhythms of the Caribbean,” he said.
Kornman will lead the band on:
– “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins. “He was a tenor saxophone player,” said Kornman — himself a sax player. “St. Thomas” is “a famous, recognizable jazz piece Rollins wrote in the late 1950s.”
– “Caribbean Celebration” by Eric Osterling.
– “Pacific Island Fantasy,” a Sammy Nestico arrangement of the classic Hawaiian tunes “The Moon of Manakoora,” “Tiny Bubbles,” and “Pearly Shells.”
– “Caribbean Fantasy” by John J. Morrissey.
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “Pops in Paradise” concert
When: 7 p.m. July 8, 2014
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Rain: If it rains, the concert is canceled
Because the Fourth of July falls on a Friday this year, the Kenosha Pops Concert Band is doubling up, with concerts tonight in Pennoyer Park and Friday night in Wolfenbuttel Park.
“We’re playing two different programs, though you can expect to hear some of the same pieces both nights,” says Craig Gall, the band’s conductor, “We are playing some new pieces this year, but we are also playing traditional patriotic favorites.”
In that spirit — and in the spirit of the July Fourth holiday — we offer a patriotic quiz, with the answers provided by the pieces on the program:
1) What pivotal Civil War battle took place July 1-3 in 1863? The battle of Gettysburg.
The Pops Band is performing “Gettysbug” by Randy Edelman. The music was written for the 1993 movie about the epic battle.
The band is also performing
“Civil War Suite” by Harold Walters, which contains the tunes “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
2) What Samuel Augustus Ward hymn was combined with a poem by Katharine Lee Bates and has become a beloved patriotic tune? “America the Beautiful.” The Pops Band is playing Carmen Dragon’s arrangement of the piece.
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 march is named after the Marine Corps’ motto? “Semper Fidelis,” written by Sousa in 1888. (Latin for “always faithful,” Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883.)
5) 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. Sousa put “National Emblem” on his “top three” list. The march was written in 1902 by Edwin Eugene Bagley.
6) What march is both the official Wisconsin state song and the “fight song” for the University of Wisconsin?
“On, Wisconsin,” with music by William T. Purdy, was adopted as the official state song of Wisconsin on July 11, 1959. And here’s a Sousa connection; he called it “the finest of college marching songs.”
Fun fact: The tune was originally intended for the University of Minnesota, which was having a contest in 1909 for a new football song. Purdy’s friend, Carl Beck, a former University of Wisconsin student, persuaded Purdy to dedicate the new song to the University of Wisconsin. And Beck contributed lyrics.
7) What is a “fencible”? A “fencible” is “an army regiment whose duties include defense against invasion.”
The band is performing Sousa’s “The National Fencibles” march at both concerts. “This is a new piece to the Pops Band’s library,” Gall says, “though it’s not a new piece — it was written in 1888.”
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 will be performed during both concerts.
9) Which beloved Sousa march 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.
10) What Clare Grundman piece will make its Kenosha Pops Concert Band debut tonight and July 4? OK, we don’t expect you to know this, but composer Grundman is a Pops Band favorite.
You’ll brush up on American musical history, thanks to his “Concord” arrangement, which contains tunes from the Revolutionary War era, including “The White Cockade,” featuring Vera Olguin on piccolo and Michael Becker on snare drum, and the melody that composer William Billings wrote to “America” (“My Country ‘Tis of Thee”). “The piece ends with an unorthodox treatment of ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy,’ “ Gall says.Also on the program is Grundman’s “Second Folk Rhapsody,” which includes the traditional folk songs “Billy Boy,” “Skip to My Lou” and “Shenandoah.”
If you go
What: Kenosha Pops Band performance
When: 7 p.m. July 2, 2014
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, 35th Street and Seventh Avenue
Only at this concert: Greg Berg, the Pops Band’s master of ceremonies, will sing the vocal parts on “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful”
Only at this concert 2: The band runs a concession stand during Pennoyer Park performances, selling soda, candy and that world-famous Pops Band popcorn. (There won’t be Pops concessions on July 4, but you’ll find other food vendors at the lakefront.)
Only at this concert 3: You could win a fabulous prize. The band asks a trivia question each week, with prizes including gift certificates to local restaurants. (There’s no trivia question at the July 4 concert.)
What: Kenosha Pops Band’s July 4 performance
When: 7 p.m. July 4, 2014
Where: Wolfenbuttel Park on Kenosha’s lakefront, 5801 Third Ave.
Only at this concert: Kathryn Thorson, a member of the band’s flute section, will sing the vocal parts on “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful”
Only at this concert 2: The Pops Band’s July 4 concert ends with the band’s annual “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.” (Those pieces will also be performed during the July 2 concert, but not as a grand
Only at this concert 3: Fireworks will start about 9:30 p.m., after the concert, and are visible all along the lakefront
Continental Band performing
July 4 Before the Pops Band’s 7 p.m.
July 4 concert, the Continental Recreation Band will perform, starting at 6:15 p.m.
The Kenosha Unified School District summer band, made up of about 75 students who will be in seventh grade in the fall, is directed by Brittany Sebetic, a bass clarinet player with the Pops Band. She is an elementary band teacher at four KUSD schools.
The Continental Band will perform a separate program, featuring “Electricity” by Brian Balmages, “The Quest for Uluru” by James Swearingen and “Music of the Night” from the Broadway musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” and will then join the Pops Band on “American Patriot Salute” by Larry Neeck.
The Continental Band has two more performances this summer: July 10 at Tremper HIgh School and July 15 Kemper Center,
as part of the Band Boosters’ Ice Cream Social event.