The DSO Presents "Strike Up the Band!"

The DuPage Symphony Orchestra presents "Strike Up the Band!"

Get ready for an unforgettable summer concert on Saturday, July 22! The DuPage Symphony Orchestra takes the stage at 7:30 pm at the Naperville Community Concert Center with a program entitled “Strike Up the Band!” This special free concert is a tribute to music educator Ron Keller, longtime Music Director of the Naperville Municipal Band since 1966. The evening’s program features familiar overtures, folk songs, Broadway show tunes, and memorable marches.

“The DuPage Symphony is thrilled to honor Ron Keller: a musician who has made a remarkable and enduring contribution to the Naperville arts scene over the past 57 years!” – DSO Music Director Barbara Schubert

Featured musical selections include:

George Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band will set the stage ablaze with its jaunty melodies and infectious rhythms, guaranteed to make you tap your feet and cheer for its festive brass fanfares and stirring  Conga highlights.

Franz von Suppé’s enchanting Poet and Peasant Overture will transport you to a whimsical world of adventure and romance, weaving a comedic Bavarian courtship tale through the mesmerizing interplay of gorgeous brass chorale writing, lilting Viennese waltzes, and a rousing dance finale.

Gustav Holst’s the Second Suite in F is a stunning celebration of English folk tunes. You’ll be enraptured by the resounding brilliance of the third movement, “Song of the Blacksmith,” featuring a panoply of metal anvils, hammers, and other colorful percussion effects. Feel the energy and power of the full symphony orchestra as DSO performs this timeless masterpiece.

Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount Suite will immerse you in 1620s colony life as it depicts the conflicts between Puritans and the more hedonist colonizers, the Cavaliers. Slow-moving modal harmonies evoke Puritan hymns, while shimmering strings and soaring horns suggest the majestic beauty of the unsettled American colonies.  An irresistible Maypole Dance brings the colorful suite to an exhilarating close.

Fans of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man will adore our performance of this beloved Broadway musical with its medley of memorable tunes, including “Till There Was You” and “Lida Rose.” Will 76 trombones lead the big parade, or will the admittedly smaller DSO brass section carry the day?

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ haunting arrangement of “My Bonny Boy” from his English Folk Song Suite will tug at your heartstrings, as its plaintive melody and poignant harmonies capture the pain and longing of unrequited love, sung first by the oboe and later joined by darkly shaded instrumental colors.

His “Quick March” from Sea Songs will then fill the air with the invigorating sense of nautical adventure, with three well-known British sea shanties: Princess Royal, Admiral Benbow, and Portsmouth.

Listeners may think they’re in Vienna on New Year’s Eve as the DSO presents Johann Strauss, Sr.’s beloved Radetzky March: reportedly one of Ron Keller’s favorite marches. And yes, you’ll be encouraged to clap along – at the right time, of course!

Finally, our honored guest Maestro Ron Keller will take the podium to conduct the DSO in America’s most famous march, John Philip Sousa’s iconic Stars & Stripes Forever, with its rousing musical themes for the North and the South, its thrilling piccolo solo, and its energetic “dogfight,” to bring the evening to a festive close.

Admission is free.

Article featured on the Arts DuPage website and in their July 18 e-blast.