News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 6, 2013

Concert to honor Indiana composers, arrangers

Terre Haute Community Band’s Year of the River concert series begins Saturday


Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Community Band kicks off its summer season with Indiana’s official state song, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away,” written by Terre Haute’s own Paul Dresser.

To properly acknowledge this hometown success story and the 2013 Year of the River concert series, the song will be conducted by Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Saturday in Fairbanks Park. Admission is free.

Indiana composers and arrangers will dominate the playlist. Local composer, Malcolm C. Scott, a music teacher and band director at Gerstmeyer High School, wrote the popular “I’m Gonna Float My Boat Right Back to Terre Haute” in 1928 in response to a contest sponsored by a local radio station.

Earlier this year the Terre Haute Community Band premiered a new arrangement of “Back Home Again in Indiana” by John McIntyre who currently serves as associate professor of music at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. McIntyre’s compositions and arrangements have been performed in churches and concert halls in North and South America and Europe.

The band also commissioned David H. Watkins for a new arrangement of “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away.” Watkins’ career consisted of five seasons in the horn section of the Dallas Symphony, 32 years as a teacher of horn and music literature at Indiana State University and 40 seasons in the horn section of the Terre Haute Symphony. Both arrangements will be performed at this concert.

Terre Haute cannot quite claim Edwin Franko Goldman as a local composer, but he did reside in Terre Haute for several years during his childhood before moving to New York to study music. The band will play his famous march “On the Mall.” Another Indiana composer, Frank D. Cofield, a native of New Castle, wrote “Huckleberry Flute,” which will feature the band’s flute section.

The band will present Cathleen Flynn, a 2013 graduate in music therapy from The Woods, singing the American standard “Someone to Watch over Me.” Besides her experience singing with several groups at the Woods, Flynn has also sung with the Minnesota Beethoven Festival.

Conductor Yvonne Newlin is taking a one-month leave of absence and will return to the band in July. Guest conductor for this concert is Steve Humphrey, band director at Honey Creek Middle School and a percussionist with the THCB.

A Wabash Valley Community Foundation grant purchased new musicians’ chairs; and Arts Illiana, the Indiana Arts Commission and the City of Terre Haute continue to support the band.