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posted: 5/15/2014 8:03 AM

Community Concert Band Presents "American Riversongs"

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  • Des Plaines Park District Community Concert Band Conductor William Gilmer and the band will present "American Riversongs" on May 16 at 7:00pm.Lisa Haring

      Des Plaines Park District Community Concert Band Conductor William Gilmer and the band will present "American Riversongs" on May 16 at 7:00pm.Lisa Haring

Lisa Haring

All of the riverboat gamblers are losing their shirts

All of the brave Union soldier boys sleep in the dirt

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But you know and I know, there never was reason to hurt

All of our lives... were entwined to begin with, here in Spoon River.

From Spoon River by Percy Grainger

The Des Plaines Park District Community Concert Band, under the direction of William Gilmer, will present their May concert, "American Riversongs," on Friday, May 16, at 7:00pm in the Prairie Lakes Theater. The program features music that explores the impact that rivers have on society. "Countless artists, composers, and writers have pondered the significance of these wondrous bodies of water and their effect on culture, society, and the very future of our planet," said Gilmer. "From the source to the mouth, rivers bring life to the landscape and its inhabitants. Musicians use rivers as metaphors to describe love, spirituality, and the temporary nature of life. Some are seen as obstacles to overcome, others as a way to channel power and determination," Gilmer continued.

Included in the program are "American Riversongs," by Pierre La Plante, a moving tribute to an earlier time when rivers and other waterways were the lifelines of our growing nation; "Deep River," a spiritual set by James Swearingen; "Shenandoah," one of America's most recognizable folk tunes; highlights from Jerome Kern's 1927 musical Show Boat; a setting of the haunting folk song Spoon River by Percy Grainger; and John Fogerty's rock anthem, "Proud Mary," to name a few.

"Whatever your relationship with rivers, whether you fish, boat, or just love the music they inspire, you will find something to enjoy at our May concert," said Shelli Sarg, Facilities Manager. "The band is very excited to perform their first concert under their new conductor. The performance will last about 1½ hours and features both returning band members and many new musicians."

Tickets are available at the door: adults $5; seniors and students $3; and a family of four $12. Concerts are free for children under the age of 6. Musicians interested in joining the Community Concert Band should contact Shelli Sarg at 847-391-5711 or visit

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