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updated: 11/12/2012 11:18 AM

A Celebration of American Music

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  • Highland Park High School Wind Symphony performing a concert at Chicago's Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in April 2012.

      Highland Park High School Wind Symphony performing a concert at Chicago's Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in April 2012.

 
Dr. James Hile

On Sunday, November 18th, the Highland Park High School Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. James Hile, will present a special concert featuring "A Celebration of American Music." The concert will be in the Main Auditorium at Highland Park High School and will begin at 3:00 PM. Admission is free.

This very special concert will feature some of the most celebrated works by American composers dating from the independence war to popular Broadway musicals. Theater director, Scott Shallenbarger, will serve as master of ceremonies for the concert, and will provide the narration for the afternoon festivities. The auditorium will be decorated with red, white and blue and a multi-media presentation will be included. The audience will be invited to participate in a sing-along of great American popular songs and patriotic favorites.

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The HPHS Wind Symphony is the premiere wind performance organization at HPHS consisting of fifty of the finest wind musicians on the campus. The group has performed internationally in China, Italy, Japan, Slovenia, and was awarded a gold medal at the Young Prague International Music festival in March 2012. The band also performed at the Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, last April.

"A Celebration of American Music" will feature a chronological program order beginning with music popular during the Revolutionary War period beginning with Morton Gould's setting of "Yankee doodle" and William Schuman's "Chester." Nineteenth century popular song composer Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer" is performed in the calm before Jerry Bilik's "Civil War Fantasy" is presented with a multi-media presentation. The first half of the program will conclude with an audience sing-along to the music of George M. Cohan, America's song and dance man, including "Give my regards to Broadway", "forty-five minutes from Broadway", "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

The second half of the program is a tribute to the great American composers of the twentieth century, which will begin with Leonard Bernstein's exciting "Overture to Candide." Senior Becky Keeshin will be featured as a vocal soloist in a medley of 1920-1940 Tin Pan Alley favorites including "Oh, You Beautiful Doll", "Nothing Could Be Finer", and "Happy Days Are Here Again". George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" will be presented as well as a musical salute to the men and women of our armed forces. The concert will conclude with Scott Shallenbarger as narrator for Aaron Copland's powerful and dramatic "A Lincoln Portrait." And, of course, no concert of American music could conclude without the music of John Philip Sousa.

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