ALTON – Conductor David Drillinger will return to the podium for the final week of the 131st season closing his 34th year with the Alton Municipal Band. Concerts in the Park are scheduled for Thursday, August 5th
at 8pm at Riverview Park and Sunday, August 8th at 7pm at Haskell Park near the Lucy Playhouse in Alton, Illinois.

WEEK 9 themed SO LONG, FAREWELL will feature the wonderfully talented vocalist Robyn Brandon, now in her 18th season performing with the Alton Municipal Band. Robyn will be performing Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” Jerome Kern’s “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from the 1927 stage production of Show Boat arranged by David Drillinger, and “Get Happy,” a song composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Ted Koehler, arranged by Billy May and recorded by Ella Fitzgerald. Other music on the program are Americans We, Light Cavalry, Clarinet Candy, Our Director March, ENCORE!, “Sweet” Horn Rag, On the Mall, A Night in Tunisia, Gee, Officer Krupke, and Mambo Perro Loco (Crazy Dog Mambo). The band will then pause to honor and remember those members that have passed with the traditional playing of the OLD Scottish Melody (Auld Lang Syne) setting by Charles A. Wiley. We have made it through yet another year together and are stronger for it.

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Robyn Brandon studied music at Lewis and Clark Community College, and while attending performed with the vocal ensemble “Limited Edition” and the Concert Choir, and as a vocalist in several musical variety shows. Brandon has performed with the Alton Little Theater, playing the role of Jenny in the theatre’s 1998 production of “Shenandoah,” and as a soloist in the 2004 musical theatre review “Showcase: A Salute to Musicals.” She has had the privilege of performing with the chorus on the stage of New York City’s Carnegie Hall in John Adams’ “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” Brandon currently sings with these “Seasons of Life” women’s choir and is in her 9th year as an alto with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. She also has played violin, as well as been featured as a vocal soloist, with the Alton Symphony Orchestra. Robyn, a mother to four, can be found leading training and motivational fitness and Zumba classes, and is currently a general manager with Planet Fitness.

The Dairy Bar Ice Cream Truck is returning to Haskell Park for the Sunday, August 8th concert and will be serving up some delicious treats to park visitors. The Dairy Bar features hand dipped premium quality ice cream available in a cup or waffle cone. The ice cream truck will arrive early on Sunday for families who want to bring children to the park to play before the concert and they will remain onsite for a while after the concert. Credit and debit cards are accepted. With a playground nearby, the band is happy to offer some extra fun to young families attending the park with their children.

The Alton Youth Symphony will be on hand this week to help coordinate and lead the children’s parade around the park. Kids participating in the parade will get a coupon from McDonald’s. AYS volunteers will be looking for an emerging young leader with the courage to step up to the podium and take the baton to conduct the kiddie march. Selected youth conductors will get a coupon to the Dairy Bar and official Alton Municipal Band ball cap. FUN! FREE! Come hang out at the park and go have some fun.

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Concert dedications have been a tradition of the Alton Municipal Band and this Sunday, August 8th the band will be dedicating this concert to Lt. Colonel Melissa Vick Heyen for her 20 years of selfless dedication to the United States Air Force. Sponsor and father-in-law David Heyen, Chairman of the Board of Lewis and Clark Community Colleges, wishes also to congratulate Lt. Colonel Heyen on her new degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

As we look back on the past months, we are weary of the ever-changing messaging about the pandemic and grateful to have pushed through and completed another concert season. This would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of all musician members most of whom are educators heading back to the classrooms soon. Our board members are to be commended for working tirelessly to ensure great performances and make decisions that keep everyone safe during these mask-wearing days. We thank all our supporters, volunteers and patrons for supporting and attending concerts. We especially want to thank both conductors David Drillinger and Jennifer Shenberger for putting together another terrific concert season.

It was Mayor David Goins attendance and participation in the concerts, leading the children’s march around the park and stepping up to the podium to lead the band that was a wonderful show of support from the city and for musicians and all those in attendance. We thank Alton Park and Recreation Director Michael Haynes and his staff for moving chairs between parks and doing the setup each week. We certainly appreciate all the hard work that goes into making the parks a beautiful place to visit and attend summer concerts. We thank all the organizations who stepped up to help coordinate the children’s parade through the park and we extend a special thank you to Lewis and Clark Community College for providing rehearsal space and safekeeping the vast music library of the Alton Municipal Band.

The City of Alton’s continuing support for these FREE outdoor concerts is a wonderful tradition dating back to 1891 providing great entertainment at parks and a place to gather with friends or family while enjoying a different musical program every week. The band welcomes and encourages the community to visit the parks for some quality outdoor time together with family and friends. The large footpad of parks allows for space to spread out with lawn chairs and enjoy listening to some of the best music around.

We are appealing for expanded support for all musician members, small ensemble performances and adding other parks and venues to the season calendar. Anyone interested in donating should send a check to city hall payable to the Alton Municipal Band Special Fund or make a donation on-line through the city website at Join the Friends of Alton Municipal Band group on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest happenings, and feel free to share your memories, pictures, and best band moments. Auditions for musicians interested in playing the Alton Municipal Band start this fall. If you have other questions, let us know at [email protected] and thank you for your support.

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