Contact:  Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120
or  Dr. Thomas Stone, Director of Instrumental Music,  318-869-5238

With Sidebar: Background on Summer Band Concerts
 since 1957 at Centenary

Summer Band Concerts Set for June 11, 18, 25 and July 2 in Centenary's Hargrove Amphitheater 

Summer Band Logo

SHREVEPORT, LA  -- Offering a new summer tradition in the spirit of an old one, the Centenary College Summer Band once again will present free outdoor concerts in June and July.

Performances are scheduled for four Tuesdays -- June 11, 18, and 25 and July 2 -- at 8 p.m. in Centenary's Hargrove Memorial Amphitheater, which is also known as the "Band Shell."  Dr. Thomas Stone, director of instrumental music at Centenary, will conduct the ensemble comprised of Shreveport Symphony musicians, Centenary faculty, local music teachers, retired teachers, military musicians and Centenary students.

The concerts are free and open to the public, with concertgoers invited to bring seat cushions, lawn chairs and their own picnics.

In addition to its four performances at Centenary, the Summer Band will present a fifth performance, at Riverblast 2002, the Fourth of July celebration on the Shreveport riverfront. The ensemble will perform patriotic music and marches prior to and during the fireworks display. That performance begins at 8:30 p.m. at Shreveport Festival Park and is sponsored by CenturyTel.

The opening concert on June 11 at Centenary is sponsored by AEP/SWEPCO and hosted by Dr. Darrell Colson, Centenary's new provost and dean of the college.  Dr. Gale Odom, soprano and dean of the Hurley School of Music, will sing.  The program includes Star Spangled Banner. Overture for Winds, highlights from Carmen, Walking Tune, The Liberty Bell, Knoxville, Summer of 1915, Sinatra In Concert, The American Dream and Thunder and Blazes

The June 18 concert is sponsored by R. Lewis Smith Jr., CPA. It will feature Chamber Winds presentations as well as Big Band pieces led by Bill Causey Jr.  Chamber Winds will present Old Wine in New Bottles; Early One Morning; the world premiere of McAlister's Yver; Bob Maynard on alto saxophone; Tom Stone with Carnevale; Trio Sonata No. I, Mvt. I;"Pupillette flammette d'amore" from Lo frate 'nnamorato; Trio Sonata No. VIII, Mvt. I; Pergolesi: Sinfonia a violoncello e basso, Mvt. IV; and Trio Sonata No. XII, Mvt. III.  "Now at last I may embrace you" from The Marriage of Figaro will be performed by Dr. Odom as Susanna, Horace English as Figaro, John Gayle as Bartolo, Jennifer Dowd as Marcellina; Tim Kennedy as Count Almaviva; and Michael Petty as Don Curzio.
Bill Causey Jr. will conduct Big Band pieces that include La Fiesta, Ambiance, Malaga, Latin Dream, Live and Let Die, Big Swing Face, The Mood is Gone, When You're Smiling, Tuxedo Junction, Birdland and America the Beautiful.

The June 25 concert, sponsored by CenturyTel, will be hosted by Liz Swaine, assistant to Shreveport mayor Keith Hightower.  On the program are Manganese Bronze, Allerseelen, Scenes from The Louvre, Jalousie, Lincoln Portrait, Variations on a Korean Folksong, An American in Paris and Lassus Trombones.  Horace English will narrate and Larry Holbert will conduct selected pieces.
The final concert on the Centenary campus on July 2 is sponsored by the college and hosted by Dr. Eugene R. Gregory, vice president for college relations.  It will include performances of Fanfare, America the Beautiful, Armed Forces Salute, Victory at Sea, The Wizard of Oz, The Billboard, Olympic Fanfare and Theme, American Gospel Songs and His Eye is On the Sparrow.  The program also lists Amazing Grace, Shall We Gather at the River, Second Prelude, Oklahoma!, American We, Seventy-Six Trombones, God Bless America and Semper Fidelis.  Jennifer Dowd, soprano, will sing.

The pre-fireworks concert on July 4 at Festival Park will be sponsored by Century Tel and hosted by Bob Griffin of KSLA-TV. The band will perform Olympic Fanfare and Theme, America the Beautiful, Armed Forces Salute, The Wizard of Oz, The Billboard, Oklahoma!, Americans We, Seventy-Six Trombones, God Bless America, The American Dream, Semper Fidelis and Star Spangled Banner.

The fireworks soundtrack will include National Emblem, The Washington Post, The Liberty Bell, El Capitan, Entry of the Gladiators, Hands Across the Sea, an excerpt from 1812 Overture, and The Stars and Stripes Forever.       

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In 1957, Mr. B. P. Causey, Director of Bands at the Centenary College Hurley School of Music, established the Centenary Summer Band, which was comprised of local professional musicians.  Over the ensuing 30 years, the ensemble performed in the Hargrove Amphitheater at Centenary.

Between four and eight concerts were given each summer season. Audiences ranged from approximately 500 to as large as 3,000 concertgoers. The summer band concerts became a staple of summer life in Shreveport until 1987, at which time Mr. Causey ended the tradition due to advanced age and lack of funding.  With no heir apparent to assume leadership of the ensemble, the Centenary Summer Band was silenced, apparently forever.

The dream was revived during the summer of 2000, when Mr. Causey’s son, Bill Jr., and Dr. Thomas Stone, director of instrumental music at Centenary. produced and reestablished the Centenary Summer Band Concert Series with financial backing from the Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, Centenary College, and the American Federation of Musicians Local 116. Three concerts were staged free and open to the public.

The purpose of the project is wide-ranging and multitudinous. Resurrecting the summer concert series has greatly enriched the Shreveport-Bossier musical landscape. During months when the Shreveport Symphony is in recess, professional music-making all but ceases in the Shreveport metropolitan area.  A renewed series of concerts has provided the public with the opportunity to hear concert music of high quality performed by top-flight musicians.  Music is selected from a variety of styles, including marches, Broadway showtunes, overtures, tone poems, and solo works with band accompaniment. 

A “concert in the park” atmosphere is the exemplar for the series, although mere entertainment is not the only mission.  Substantive concert music is offered with the hope of developing sophisti- cation and depth among the listening public. This comprises one facet of the educational mission.

Among the ranks of the performers is a complement of college students, mainly wind and percussion performers from the Hurley School of Music at Centenary. but from other area collegiate institutions as well. The concert series provides these developing musicians the opportunity to perform with professional musicians in a fast professional setting: one rehearsal only and a concert. 

The professional musicians include many of the Hurley School of Music applied wind/ percussion faculty, who are performing alongside their own students, synergizing with them in an experts-only situation.  Most of these performers are also members of the Shreveport Symphony who are able to augment their income through professional performance.

An additional educational benefit is the experience gained by area high school and junior high school band teachers who participate as performers.  These musicians, who teach rather than perform for a living, sharpen their playing skills while being exposed to new literature. As growth is essential to maintaining the teacher’s edge in the classroom, discovery of new repertoire for the band is a critical component of preserving a fresh approach to everyday teaching. 

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