Wheaton Municipal Band welcomes two music icons

On Thursday, July 11, the Wheaton Municipal Band welcomes Ray E. Cramer to the podium to conduct the band at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Park in downtown Wheaton.

Cramer shares the podium with well-known composer Julie Giroux who conducts selected works she has written. It’s a rare opportunity to hear music under the baton of the composer.

Giroux, a multiple Emmy Award winner, stands as a female force in a male dominated field. She has over 100 film, television, and video game credits. She is known in the concert band world as an icon and has her music performed all over the world.

On Thursday, Giroux shares some of her favorite pieces with the Wheaton Municipal Band and the Memorial Park audience.

Thursday’s program offers a wide variety of music, some of which was selected by Crammer and some by Giroux. Cramer stuck with well-known composer’s works, Strauss, Grainger, Holst and Tchaikovsky.

The Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst is one of two suites he wrote for concert band. Although the Second Suite is the lesser known of the two, it is considered more difficult and longer, and a concert band staple.

Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Jesters” sparkles with energy and challenges the woodwinds to flourishes and scale passages. Remember, the Wheaton Municipal Band musicians only have a quick read through at Wednesday night’s rehearsal, and the at the concert on Thursday.

Cramer was director of bands at Indiana University from 1972-1982 and is now emeritus director of bands at Indiana University.

Bruce Moss, Wheaton Municipal Band music director, has been trying to get Julie Giroux out to Wheaton for years.

This year the audience is in for a treat. Julie Giroux is known throughout the Concert Band world as a composer and contributor. Her sense of humor seeps into her music and catches the audience with her infectious music charm. In her work “OPA” she mixes a Greek prayer with a folk dance and revs up the plaintive music into a frenzy.

Continuing the world tour, “Italian Rhapsody” interweaves classic orchestral sounds with the folk fun of songs of Italy. In her masterful way, Giroux uses the full instrumentation of the concert band to flow from one musical idea to the next. Prepare to be charmed by Julie Giroux and her music.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to have two Concert Band icons conduct the Wheaton Municipal Band. Come early to get a good seat, or space on the lawn.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Park, 225 Karlskoga Ave. in downtown Wheaton.

For more information, go to the band’s website

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