Wheaton Municipal Band kicks off the Fourth of July Weekend with patriotic concert June 30

  • Dr. Bruce Moss will conduct the Wheaton Municipal Band's patriotic concert on Thursday, June 30, at the Memorial Park band shell in downtown Wheaton.

    Dr. Bruce Moss will conduct the Wheaton Municipal Band's patriotic concert on Thursday, June 30, at the Memorial Park band shell in downtown Wheaton. Courtesy of Wheaton Municipal Band

 
 
Updated 6/27/2022 5:42 PM

The Wheaton Municipal Band kicks off the Independence Day weekend with a rousing patriotic concert on Thursday, June 30.

It will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Park, 225 Karlskoga Ave. in downtown Wheaton.

 

It is the most popular concert of the season, with crowds gathering early and picking out their prime spot.

The Dixie Cups, a Dixieland jazz band made up of WMB members, starts the show at 6 p.m. with an upbeat fun groove to get the energy flowing.

At 7:30 p.m., the Wheaton Band takes to the stage.

Dr. Bruce Moss, the music director for the last 43 years, programed a night filled with music to stir the patriotic soul.

Many people associate concert band music with Americana. Certainly, Sousa marches, especially "Stars and Stripes Forever," bring the house down with nostalgia and the patriotic spirit. Also, on the program are two contrasting patriotic works: "American Salute" by Morton Gould and "Variations on America" by Charles Ives.

Gould incorporates the folk tune, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" into his driving work. It shows off Gould's use of thematic development. Originally written for orchestra, the band transcription is just as popular.

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While Ives recreates, in his special way, five variations on the song "America the Beautiful." Originally written for organ, the music transfers perfectly to concert band.

Also on the program is "Midnight Fire Alarm" by Harry Lincoln. As a special treat, Dr. Moss has transported a siren, on loan from the Toledo symphony, to add a unique addition to the band's intense sound. This piece recognizes William Schultz, Wheaton's retiring fire chief.

The concert features "Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet" by William Bolcom.

"This is a great showcase for the unique sounds of a saxophone quartet," said Viennie Inendino, one of the saxophonists in the quintet.

The "Concerto Grosso" is a Baroque-era form which features a small group of instrumentalists, in this case the saxophone quartet, and creates a dialogue with the orchestra. The saxophone was not invented until well after the Baroque era and there were no concert bands at that time, so it is an interesting choice of forms and instrumentation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Plus, the contemporary harmonies and rhythms place the work in a totally different era. The Saxophone Quartet features Eric Goluszka, Vinnie Inendino, Bryan Polacek, and Adam Hawthorne.

The Wheaton Municipal Band continues the tradition of offering a salute to our veterans. This favorite tradition brings a tear to the eyes of every patriot in the audience.

Don't miss some old patriotic favorites, like "Victory at Sea" by Richard Rodgers and Sousa marches, and a new collection by John Williams.

Come early for the preconcert performance by the Dixie Cups at 6 p.m. Bring a picnic and stay for the 7:30 p.m. full concert band performance of their patriotic program "Let Freedom Ring."

For more information, go to www.wheatonmunicipalband.org.

Next week's concert theme on July 7 will be "War Horses!," featuring favorite overtures by Rossini, Mendelssohn, von Suppe and more. It will feature band member Joe Hands for the clarinet solo.

Also in July, there will be a special "Edman Spectacular" on Saturday, July 9, at the Edman Chapel at Wheaton College. Staff Sgt. Kristin Bowers, clarinetist from the "President's Own" United States Marine Band, will join the Wheaton Municipal Band as guest soloist in a special concert that will close with the powerful finale from Camille Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3, the "Organ Symphony." This event is not a function of Wheaton College.

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