By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
BREVARD -- Summertime is drawing to a close, but that doesn't mean that the fun has to end.
In continuation with its summer "Not-in-the-Park" picnic concert series, the Melbourne Municipal Band will host "In the Good Old Summertime -- An American Musical Portrait" on Aug. 7 and 8.
The concert will take place at the Melbourne Auditorium, with preshow entertainment by The Dog Bones at 5:30 p.m. and, the concert at 6:30p.m. Admission is free.
Dr. Patrick Hennessey will serve as guest conductor and will lead the band through a plethora of selections that celebrate our nation's musical heritage. Dr. Hennessey is a retired member of the Royal Hawaiian Band. He also spent 25 years directing the jazz program at the University of Hawaii and five years directing the band program at Hawaii Pacific University.
"I am conducting research for a book project on the music of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, with a particular focus on John Philip Sousa and his band," Dr. Hennessey said. "I wanted to present a program that would include some of the music of the Expo, but would also be representative of the spirit of the country at the time."
Dr. Hennessey explained that, in the 1890s, popular music was experiencing a tremendous change, as Scott Joplin introduced ragtime; at the same time, jazz was emerging in the south.
"Meanwhile, the music of John Philip Sousa, and his newly formed band, had taken the nation by storm," Dr. Hennessey added. "These, combined with my experience with the Royal Hawaiian Band, playing weekly concerts in the park gazebo, were reminiscent of this bygone era that I hope to recreate -- at least for these two concerts."
Musical selections for "In the Good Old Summertime -- An American Musical Portrait" include "The Belle of Chicago," "Sounds from the Hudson," "Suite of American Dances," "Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa," "America the Beautiful," selections from "The Music Man" and much more.
The Dog Bones, which will provide preshow entertainment at 5:30 p.m., consist of current and former members of the Melbourne Municipal Band. Dr. Hennessey said that, since they will be performing for the pre-concert, most have volunteered to join the MMB and perform with the band on the main concert, too.
Vocalist Michele Malinda will perform alongside the Melbourne Municipal Band and band member David Ewing will be featured in a cornet solo.
"The cornet is a smaller version of today's trumpet," Dr. Hennessey said. "It possesses a mellower sound than the more brilliant trumpet sound, and was the preferred instrument in the early 19th and 20th centuries."
Like the other "Not-in-the-Park" picnic series concerts, "In the Good Old Summertime -- An American Musical Portrait" will be a dinner-and-a-show experience for attendees. Audience members are welcome to bring along picnic dinners, but drinks, ice and snacks will be available for purchase, as well.
"People should attend this concert for the music and for the fun," Dr. Hennessey said. "The auditorium will be decorated with an Americana theme. Ice cream will be served and the audience will be encouraged to sing along on a couple of the selections. All, including the music of the period, are meant to transport us back to a simpler, more carefree period."
The Melbourne Municipal Band will host "In the Good Old Summertime -- An American Musical Portrait" on Wednesday, Aug. 7 and Thursday, Aug. 8 at the Melbourne Auditorium. Preshow entertainment by The Dog Bones is at 5:30 p.m., with the main concert beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free.
The Melbourne Auditorium is located at 625 Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne.
For more information, call (321) 724-0555 or visit www.melbournemunicipalband.org.