By Robert Whitmire
The Stevens Point City Band, under the direction of Kathryn Kawleski, will present its fifth concert of the summer season on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:00 PM in the Pfiffner Pioneer Park band shell along the Wisconsin River.
“Echoes of Freedom” will be the theme as the band pays tribute to America with a variety of patriotic music, including “Fantasy on Yankee Doodle”, “America, The Beautiful”, “Echoes From the Battlefield”, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, “A Celebration of Taps” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever”. “Liberty Loan March” by John Philip Sousa will be the music for the weekly children’s march. The evening’s highlight will be a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”.
John Phillip Sousa’s Liberty Loan March dates back to the World War I era and was first played for the Liberty Loan Drive held in 1917. The Stars and Stripes Forever was composed Christmas Day, 1896 as Sousa and his wife sailed home from Europe. It was first performed at Willow Grove Park near Philadelphia on May 14, 1897. The march was named National March of the United States by an act of congress in 1987.
The music for America the Beautiful was composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward with the lyrics being written by Katherine Lee Bates for her poem ‘Pikes Peak’ which appeared in the Fourth of July edition of the church periodical ‘The Congregationalist’. Ward’s music had originally been written for the hymn ‘O Mother Dear, Jerusalem’ in 1892 and was first published in 1910 and titled America the Beautiful.
Michele’s Restaurant and Catering of Stevens Point will provide food for purchase before and during the concert. Concerts are free and held Wednesday evenings through August 3. Audience members should bring chairs or blankets for seating. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the gymnasium at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, 1919 Wyatt Avenue, Stevens Point.