Racine Concert Band presents a guest singer, French horn soloist | Local News

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What: 1509th concert of the Harmony Racine

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, August 7

Where: Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St.

To note: Zoo gates on Walton Avenue and Augusta Street open at 6:30 p.m. for free admission to the concert site, the Kiwanis Amphitheater on the east side of the zoo grounds. A courtesy cart, for spectators who need help getting to the concert site, is available before and after the concert. The weekly concerts run until Sunday August 14th.

RACINE — As the Racine Concert Band continues to celebrate its historic 100th season, the band welcomes guest vocalist Melissa Cardamone and French horn soloist Bob Kenehan to its Sunday night program.

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Cardamone is making her ninth appearance as a guest artist with the Racine Concert Band.

A graduate of Lawrence University and the Eastman School of Music, the Carthage College coach and accompanist performs frequently on professional stages, including Skylight Opera Theater and Milwaukee Opera Theatre.

On Sunday evening, she will sing “Open Your Heart” by French composer Georges Bizet and a waltz by John Philip Sousa, “I’ve Made My Plans for the Summer”. In the song, a woman rejects a fan, telling him she’s already “made her plans for the summer” – but she tells him to ask again in the fall.

She returns to the stage later in the program to sing “I Dreamed a Dreamed” from Broadway’s “Les Miserables.” The song was a huge hit on its own and has since become a jazz standard. Cardamone also sings “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” by George and Ira Gershwin. This tune was first performed by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film “Shall We Dance?”

French horn solo

Kenehan is in his second season as a member of the band’s French horn section. This is his first solo performance with the band.

Sunday evening, he interprets “Cape Horn” by Otto Schwartz.

The piece takes its title from Cape Horn, located at the southern tip of South America, where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet. It is known to be particularly dangerous for ships, due to high winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs.

“This piece is also dangerous,” Kenehan said with a laugh.

Although this is only his second season with the group, Kenehan has been playing the French horn since the 1970s. As a teenager, the Addison, Illinois native earned a spot with the prestigious Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. He also performed regularly with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra and played in a traveling brass ensemble called the Aurora Borealis.

After a long hiatus to raise a family and pursue his career, Kenehan “dusted 35 years of cobwebs” and started playing the horn again in 2018.

He now performs regularly with the Lake County Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, the Lake Geneva Symphony and Saint James Brass ensemble, as well as the group Racine.

In 2021, he founded Horns for Hope, a nonprofit charity, with his instructor and mentor David Cooper, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new principal horn player.

Kenehan “encourages everyone to pursue a long-forgotten dream. Maybe dust off that old band instrument again and see where it takes you.”

More from Sousa

The Sunday evening program also includes:

  • Two other pieces by Sousa in addition to the waltz: “The Fairest of the Fair” and “Washington Post”. “Fairest” is a 1908 march written for the Boston Food Fair that year. Apparently, Sousa was inspired by a memory of a pretty girl he had seen at an earlier fair. The “Washington Post” march was written in 1889 for the Washington Post Newspaper Essay Contest Awards Ceremony – and to promote the new ownership of the newspaper. The hugely popular march began in a ceremony on June 15, 1889, before a huge crowd on the grounds of the Smithsonian Museum.
  • Moorside March by Gustav Holst.
  • “Nocturno for Winds” by Felix Mendelssohn.
  • 1923 work by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “English Folk Song Suite”.
  • “British Eighth” by Zo Elliott. The classic British march was dedicated to members of the British Eighth Army and accepted on their behalf by General Bernard L. Montgomery, their famous WWII commander.
  • The 1889 “Emperor’s Waltz” by Johann Strauss II.
  • Burletta by John Barnes Luck.

Mark Eichner, who is celebrating his 20th season as the band’s musical director, will lead the program. Don Rosen, a professional broadcaster for 50 years, is the master of ceremonies.

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