News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 2, 2012

Terre Haute Community Band heads for ‘the Great Divide’

Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Community Band will present “Across the Great Divide”  at 8 p.m. Saturday in Fairbanks Park. Guest conductor Steve Humphrey will lead the band in the concert, which explores the idea of going beyond the traditional and ordinary to explore new paths and challenges. Admission is free.

Humphrey is band director at Honey Creek Middle School and assistant director at South Vigo High School.

From playing in community bands while in high school he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music. In 1982 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from VanderCook. He is active as a judge at Indiana State School Music Association contests.

This school year begins his 39th year teaching band.

The 2012 Olympic Games in London celebrates the greatest athletes in the world and music associated with the games seemed a perfect fit for this concert.

John Williams has written his share of Olympic songs and the audience will hear his “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” written for the 1984 games in Los Angeles. “Songs in the Key of Life” is Stevie Wonder’s 18th album and includes “I Wish” and “Hey, Duke” some of his best-known and critically acclaimed songs.

“Across the Great Divide” by Rob Romeyn and “Cincinnatus March” by H.A VanderCook, who founded the VanderCook School of Music, are examples of music written by composers who were deeply involved with the education of music educators.

“Clarinets Allegro” was written by Frank D. Cofield, a Hoosier composer from New Castle.

Cofield also had a music filled career as an instrumental and choral music instructor and band director.

For a complete change of pace, “Second Symphony” by Alexander Borodin and “Galop” by Dimitre Shostakovich showcase Russian composers.

Borodin’s “Second Symphony” is remarkable in its technical novelty. It found many critics among the more conservative musical circles for violating academic rules and tradition.

Another selection, “Strike Up the Band,” from the musical of the same name by George and Ira Gershwin, offers a more “swing” influence in its rhythms.

“Anchors Aweigh” is included simply because it is a rousing “fight” song associated with the U.S. Navy and always a crowd pleaser.

For further information, contact the Terre Haute Community Band at (812) 535-6440 or visit the band’s website at