Sumter band invites public to its spring concert Sunday

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 3/1/18

Sunday afternoon offers one of few opportunities to hear music by a live concert band played by some of the area's finest musicians."It's music you can't hear on the radio," said Rick Mitchum, trumpet player and spokesman …

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Sumter band invites public to its spring concert Sunday

Posted

Sunday afternoon offers one of few opportunities to hear music by a live concert band played by some of the area's finest musicians.

"It's music you can't hear on the radio," said Rick Mitchum, trumpet player and spokesman for the Sumter Community Concert Band, which will present its spring concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Patriot Hall.

The 45-member band directed by James H. "Jimmy" Mills always begins its concerts with "Star-Spangled Banner" before playing a varied program.

Mitchum said most of the music on the program is new to the band; however, the melodies themselves are familiar, as in the medley titled "The Genius of Ray Charles." In this piece, the band will play Charles' hits "Georgia on My Mind," "What'd I Say?," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and several other tunes. Robert Berry has the trumpet solo on "Georgia on My Mind," Mitchum noted.

The patriotic piece titled "Let Freedom Ring" is also a medley. Arranged by the prolific Kenny Bierschenk, the medley includes "Yankee Doodle," "Semper Fidelis," "America, the Beautiful" and several others.

The band's own Emmett Anglin, who plays trumpet, frequently arranges music for concerts. For Sunday's program, he has arranged Karl L. King's "Excelsior Galop." A galop is a fast-paced, ballroom-style dance popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

"Ticonderoga March" is distinguished by the fact that it's the only march composed by Leroy Anderson, better known for his light concert pieces such as "The Syncopated Clock," "The Typewriter" and the popular Christmas tune "Sleigh Ride," Mitchum said.

John Philip Sousa, "the March King," is represented by his 1895 military march titled "King Cotton." The piece was written for the Cotton States and International Exposition of that year, when cotton was still very important as a crop in the southern United States, including South Carolina. "King Cotton" can be heard in the films "The Sting," "The Adventures of Milo and Otis" and "Superman III," as well as in an episode of the TV show "30 Rock."

"Perthshire Majesty" will be conducted by Joni Brown and will begin with a soprano saxophone solo by Bates Middle School band instructor Sean Hackett. Written by Samuel Hazo as a Scottish ballad for wind ensemble, the piece has a lush, full sound. "Perthshire Majesty" won Hazo the 2003 NBA William D. Revelli Memorial Composition Contest.

"Themes Like Old Times II," arranged by Warren Barker, is a medley that includes "Swanee," "For Me and My Gal," "Pretty Baby" and "Tiger Rag," which Mitchum said should please University of South Carolina fans as well as Clemson supporters.

Among the other works in Sunday's concert is "Lola Flores," written by Alfred Sadel and Terry Tucci in tribute to the famous singer/dancer/actress of the same name. The tune has a "Spanish flair," Mitchum said, beginning with a fanfare resembling that of a bullfight.

Admission to the concert is free, and ample free parking is available. Donations are voluntary and accepted in a box in the lobby.

The band rehearses from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday evenings in the Pat Veltre Rehearsal Room inside Patriot Hall, 135 Haynsworth St. Prospective band members are welcome to come to rehearsals, Mitchum said. There is no audition, but they should have experience in a concert band, such as in middle school, high school or college. The membership fee is $15 per year to help with the cost of sheet music.

For more information, call Mitchum at (803) 775-9265.