Lovett Auditorium at Murray State University will ring with the sound of patriotic songs, marches, and classic Americana on Saturday, July 5, 2014, at 8 p.m. The Murray State University Town & Gown Community Band under the direction of Dr. Todd E. Hill will be performing as part of this year’s Freedom Fest. The band has ninety members. The concert is free and open to the public.
Hill is the director of Jazz Studies at Murray State, where he directs the Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Band, Jazz Lab Big Band, Blue and Gold Jazz Combos, and also teaches courses in musicianship and arranging as associate professor in the department of music. Well-known Murray radio personality Pete Lancaster will serve as announcer for the one-hour concert. The band is made up of regional adults, college students and high school students fifteen years of age and up who have made an All-District or All-State Band.
The program will open with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and will include such well-loved marches as “National Emblem” by E.E. Bagley, “Americans We” by Henry Fillmore, “Emblem of Unity” by J.J. Richards and our National March, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa. Additional selections will include the “Armed Services Medley,” in recognition of our veterans, a collection of favorites from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein, and “American Folk Rhapsody #3” by Clare Grundman featuring traditional folk melodies. Percy Grainger’s beautiful setting of the “Irish Tune from County Derry” (‘Danny Boy’) will be dedicated to the memory of Michael T. Congiardo, a member of the group who passed away in the spring. Congiardo was a 1988 MSU graduate, a highly respected music educator, served as a band director in Crittenden and Marshall Counties, Gibson County, Tenn., and was serving as director of bands at Madison Academic High School in Jackson, Tenn. at the time of his death. Carmen Dragon’s lovely setting of “America the Beautiful” will be followed by an old Murray State tradition, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in which the band will be joined by a volunteer chorus of voices from the region.
“There is something here for everyone to enjoy! Come out for the concert and stay around for the fireworks display at 9:30. We will end the concert in plenty of time to get everyone out in the quad or down to the stadium for the excitement following the program!” added Hill. Mark Welch serves as coordinator of the Town & Gown Association and is the executive director of development at Murray State.
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