Wednesday, October 10, 2012

President Garfield's Inauguration March to be Performed

President Garfield's Inauguration March will be performed on Monday night, October 15, 2012, at Kimball Recital Hall at UN-L. It will be performed by the Lincoln Community Concert Band as a part of their fall concert. The 7:30 p.m. concert is free. President Garfield is subject of Destiny of the Republic, the One Book One Lincoln selection for 2012.

A young John Philip Sousa wrote the march in 1881 for the March 4th inauguration of James A. Garfield as President of the United States. Sousa had been named leader of the U.S. Marine Corps Band in 1880. The march was first performed at the inauguration by the Marine Corps Band with Sousa conducting. Inaugural processions take a long time, and this march is a little longer than the typical Sousa march.  Sousa also wrote a march for Garfield's 1881 funeral -- Garfield being the only president for whom Sousa wrote two marches.

Also on the band's concert will be three movements from Poulenc's Les Biches, the ballet which launched Francis Poulenc's career. The ballet was written in 1923 for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe, and premiered the following year. Les Biches has multiple translations and is a play on words, being a female deer (doe) or a darling. Poulenc (1899-1963) said that he based the work on paintings of Watteau depicting Louis XV and various women in Louis' deer park. The ballet was reorchestrated in 1939, and Poulenc pulled out an orchestral suite, from which these three pieces are taken.

Other works on the concert include a fantasy on sea songs, a selection of tunes from Meredith Willson's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," and selections by Chicago (the musical group) and the Kingston Trio.

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