On Wednesday, June 19, at 8 p.m. at Highland Park the Kokomo Park Band will be expanded to include 20 of the area’s top high school musicians who will perform alongside the seasoned professionals of the KPB.
The “Side-by-Side” event will be led by composer and conductor Matt Conaway, associate director of bands at Purdue University. The concert also will feature euphonium soloist Todd McCready.
Students participating in the annual project have been chosen from applicants throughout north central Indiana. Their selection is based on performance achievements including Gold ratings at State Solo and Ensemble Contest and acceptance to other honor groups such as All State Band. Each student is nominated, sponsored, and coached by an adult member of the Kokomo Park Band.
Students selected include Hailee Pearson and Caelyn Reese on flute; Priya Moorthy, Rachel Corwin, Joseline Hernandez and Henderson Glover on clarinet; Isaac Bourff on bassoon; Derick Stinefield on saxophone; Kami Horn and Clayton Kelly on French horn; Faith Bradley, Robert Hiday, and Ariel Marley on trumpet; Alex Bolinger on trombone; Lydia Welch on euphonium; Robert Peterson and Olander Porter on tuba; and Kaitlyn Kunkle, Sophie Kelly and London Schaaf on percussion. Schools represented are Alexandria Monroe, Kokomo, Northwestern, North Central, Oak Hill, Park Tudor, and Western.
“Atlantic Zephers” by Gardell Simons will feature euphonium soloist Todd McCready. The piece frequently was performed by its composer a century ago by the great Sousa Band. McCready is the director of concert bands at Fishers High School, and prior to that, he taught band for six years at Riverside Junior High also in Fishers. He holds degrees from Purdue University (Chemistry) and the IU Jacobs School of Music (Music Education, Euphonium Performance) and was a 2002 graduate of Lawrence Central High School.
He actively has performed on euphonium and trombone as a section member and soloist with several area ensembles including Indianapolis Brass Choir, Indiana Wind Symphony, Fishers Wind Symphony, and Kokomo Park Band. In 2013, he co-founded Fishers Music Works, where he leads the Nickel Plate Jazz Orchestra.
McCready maintains a private lesson studio of euphonium and trombone players, and his students are selected regularly for state-level honor ensembles. He is an active band clinician, and he occasionally arranges music which has been performed by the Fishers band. McCready lives in Fishers with his wife, Cait, and four kids, Hailey, Jack, David, and Zoey.
The concert will open with “Fanfare: A Vision and a Dream” written as the new opening fanfare for the W.D. Packard Concert Band of Warren, Ohio. It was composed by Ryan Nowlin, associate conductor and a staff arranger for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. The piece is a tribute to William Doud Packard who, in 1899, began producing Packard automobiles in Warren. In addition, Packard generously supported the establishment of a band for the community and funded the building of a music hall.
“Portrait of a City” by contemporary composer Philip Sparke captures the essence of his hometown, London. Movement 1, “Skyline” shows the frantic lifestyles of Londoners; Movement 2, “Autumn” shows the beauty of the city as seasons change, and movement 3, “Downtown” portrays the exciting nightlife of the west end.
“Stephen Foster Songbook” is a medley of songs by America’s most beloved and popular melodist, Stephen Foster. The arrangement by Stephen Bulla includes “Became Gentle Annie, Ah!,” “May the Red Rose Live Away!,” “Camptown Races,” “Some Folks,” and “Beautiful Dreamer!”
Other selections include three rousing marches – “The Sinfonians” by Clifton Williams, “The Purple Pageant,” by Karl King, and “To the Max” by Robert W. Smith. The concluding piece is John Wasson’s “Curtain Call,” an exciting collection of familiar encore selections from the Broadway stage.
Looking ahead, on June 26th, the KPB will present "Circus Days" featuring performers from the Peru Amateur Circus.
In the event of rain, the free concert will be moved to the Kokomo High School (South Campus) Auditorium. This program is part of the weekly KPB Summer Concert Series sponsored by the Kokomo Parks Department, American Legion Post #6, the Center Township Trustee, and the Tippecanoe Arts Federation in cooperation with the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The majority of the band's funding depends on donations from individuals. Contributions should be sent to Kokomo Park Band; PO Box 6039; Kokomo, IN 46904-6039. More information can be found on the band's website: www.kokomoparkband.org.