DeKalb band concert features eclectic mix of music

Mark Robinson will be the featured vocalist at the DeKalb Municipal Band’s summer band concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Dee Palmer Band Shell in Hopkins Park in DeKalb.

Robinson, of DeKalb, has an eclectic musical background as vocalist and instrumentalist. Early singing included children’s church choir, and Joliet High School concert and swing choirs, as well performing in local summer theaters. Vocal studies with Linda Jaskoviak were influential in developing his vocal tone and concepts.

He prepared formally at Millikin University, the Military School of Music and Northern Illinois University, where he studied on French horn with John Fairfield and performed under Dr. Elwood Smith in madrigals and concert choir. Robinson has received some coaching in orchestration and arranging from Jan Bach of NIU.

During his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, Robinson played French horn and saxophone in the Marine Band and sang with the jazz band. Robinson has performed instrumentals and vocals in clubs throughout Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Colorado. He plays second horn in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and has been principal horn in the DeKalb Municipal Band since 2006.

Robinson will lend his vocal stylings to his own band arrangement of “Love and Marriage,” “Till There Was You” from “The Music Man,” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” arranged by Paul Medere, a member of the euphonium section.

The evening’s classical offering is Franz von Suppe’s “The Light Cavalry Overture.” New to Hopkins Park is John Williams’ “Midway March,” the theme to the 1976 historical fiction movie “Midway,” which told the story of the famous battle in the Pacific. Also new, is “El Camino Real,” commissioned by and dedicated to the 581st Air Force Band and its commander, Lt. Col. Ray E. Tole. The 581st is the oldest band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and has been in continuous service since 1941.

Broadway showstoppers, a variety of marches, and Dixieland selections will also be performed. The band will challenge Mother Nature to keep the skies clear with “Thundercrest,” “The Thunderer,” and Johann Strauss’ “Thunder and Lightning Polka.”

Admission is free. Bench seating is available or bring your own lawn chairs or blankets.

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