This week the Marine Band will perform a mix of music from the golden age of bands to more contemporary works for winds and an orchestral transcription of the Finale from Dmitri Shostakovich’s grand Symphony No. 5. The outdoor performances will take place at 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 6, on the west terrace of the U.S. Capitol and at 8 p.m., Thursday, July 7, at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Both concerts are free and no tickets are required.
The program will begin with the march, “Revival,” one of John Philip Sousa’s earliest marches. Written in 1876, before Sousa took over command of the Marine Band and before he earned the title “The March King,” “Revival” was originally composed for orchestra and quotes the hymn “The Sweet By and By,” a very popular tune at the time. The Marine Band recently produced a recording of this march, the full score and parts, and a video of the score synchronized with the audio, for its first volume of “The Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa” available exclusively on the Marine Band’s website: http://www.marineband.marines.mil/AudioResources/TheCompleteMarchesofJohnPhilipSousa/RevivalMarch.aspx
Following Sousa’s march, the band will perform the more contemporary work Stampede by Steven Bryant, which invokes the feeling of the Wild West, rodeos, and, according to the composer, “can loosely be thought of as Copland’s Billy the Kid meets John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” meets me in a dark alley.” After Stampede, cornet soloist Staff Sgt. Robert Bonner will perform Herbert L. Clarke’s “The Debutante,” a virtuoso cornet solo from the golden age of bands and a piece first performed with the Sousa Band on its 1913 national concert tour.
The program will continue with Michael Gandolfi’s Vientos y Tangos which is infused with the sounds of various styles of tango both old and new, and former Marine Band Chief Arranger Master Sgt. Stephen Bulla’s arrangement, Irish Songs, Set No. 2, featuring baritone vocalist Master Sgt. Kevin Bennear. Equal parts sentimentality, reverence, and pure joy, Irish Songs is a medley of popular Irish tunes and features “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “The Little Beggarman,” “Rocky Road to Dublin,” “The Minstrel Boy,” “Morrison’s Jig,” and “The Wearing of the Green.”
The concerts will conclude with the majestic Finale from Shostakovich’s popular Symphony No. 5, Opus 47, transcribed for band by Charles B. Righter. The first three movements of the four movement symphony are darker in tone, while the finale opens with a militaristic flourish and bone-chilling percussion but ends in grand fashion full of optimism and hope.
For the Summer Fare performances, limited street parking is available. For concerts at the Capitol, patrons may travel via Metro and take the red line to Union Station or the blue, orange, or silver lines to the Capitol South station, and the orange, blue, or silver lines to the Smithsonian station for concerts at the Sylvan Theater. The concerts are free but weather permitting and programming is subject to change. Inclement weather announcements will be made by 6 p.m. on the band’s Concert Information Line at (202) 433-4011.
Directions and parking: U.S. Capitol
Directions and parking: Sylvan Theater