Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Traditional patriotic songs were written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by American composers. They were inspired by the natural beauty of the country, the strength of character of the people, and the events occurring in American life at that time.
“From the New World” concert by the Terre Haute Community Band will present these traditional songs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Fairbanks Park.
Two composers well represented in the repertoire are Henry Fillmore and John Philip Sousa.
No concert celebrating our freedoms would be complete without Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the National March of the United States and quite possibly the most famous march in the world. “Americans We” by Fillmore was dedicated to “all of us” and forms one-third of that great triad of marches that are the basis of our patriotic inspiration, along with the “Stars and Stripes Forever” and Edwin Bagley’s “National Emblem March.” Edwin Bagley wrote the “National Emblem March” while on a train tour with his band. The U.S. Military uses the trio section as ceremonial music for the color guard when presenting and retiring the colors.
While marches are certainly well represented, the concert also offers other types of music that represent our country. The “Sunflower Slow Drag” is by Scott Joplin, a black composer who traveled the American South as an itinerant musician but also played his own compositions at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze.
“Chester, Overture for Band” by William Schuman is based on an original melody by William Billings which is said to capture the “sinewy ruggedness and patriotic fervor associated with the Revolutionary War.” “America the Beautiful” was inspired by a poem based on the beauty of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains written by Katherine Lee Bates. A hymn tune composed by Samuel A. Ward while on a ferryboat trip to New York City was selected as the best music for the poem.
Veterans and current members of all branches of the U.S. military services will be recognized with their song as part of the “Armed Forces Salute.”
Principal conductor Yvonne Newlin is now in her ninth season conducting the THCB. For more information contact the Terre Haute Community Band at (812) 535-6440 or visit www.terrehautecommunityband.org.