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Band spotlights vocals, French horn

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 11:58 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – Vocalist Barb McCaskey and French horn player Brian Mayer will be the featured soloists at the DeKalb Municipal Band concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, in the Hopkins Park band shell.

McCaskey has performed in theaters such as Stage Coach Players Theater in DeKalb, Steel Beam Theater in St. Charles and New American Theater and Clock Tower Theater in Rockford. Her favorite roles include Eva Peron in “Evita,” Mary in “Merrily We Roll Along,” The Witch and the Baker’s Wife in “Into The Woods,” and The Narrator in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” She will appear in Stage Coach Players’ production of “Company” Aug. 8-18 in DeKalb.

In her first performance with the municipal band, McCaskey will sing George Gershwin’s  ballad “Embraceable You,” “Its Almost Like Being in Love” from “Brigadoon” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from “South Pacific.”

After completing his degree in music education at Northern Illinois University, Mayer began teaching band, choir and general music at Eswood and Kings elementary schools north of Rochelle. He has played with the municipal band since 2010 and plays tuba with the Prairie Brass Band in Arlington Heights.

Mayer will play an unusual solo for the French horn, “Csardus.” This well-known Hungarian rhapsody has been rewritten and transcribed for piano, xylophone, flute, alto saxophone, tuba, accordion, symphony orchestra, concert and marching band, a champion whistler and even a bottle band.

The program will include newer marches by Canadian composer Robert Farnon and some classic ones by Fillmore, R.B. Hall and Sousa.

Tchaikovsky’s “Finale from the Fourth Symphony” is reflective of most turbulent time of  his life, when he met two women who forced him to evaluate himself as he never had before. Powerful brass chords and frenzied woodwinds are counterbalanced with passionate melodies.

“Benny Goodman – King of Swing” samples the music of Benny Goodman, the driving force of launching the swing era in the mid 1930s.

Lerner and Loewe‘s “Camelot,” the relaxing “Skater’s Waltz,” some old time melodies and Leroy Anderson’s first hit tune, “Blue Tango,” are all on the program.

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