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Municipal band welcomes new soloist to Hopkins

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – Singer Mike Williamson of Rockford will make his debut performance with the DeKalb Municipal Band at the band’s concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, in the Dee Palmer Band Shell in Hopkins Park, DeKalb.

Williamson has released 14 albums, including his new “Now You’re Here” CD which contains original songs he wrote with keyboardist Bruce Warden. Williamson’s “Magic Monday” show ran for 16 consecutive years at the Rockford Metro Centre and Coronado Theater. It was a gala benefit concert for The American Cancer Society. He has sung many times as a guest with The Lettermen, who inspired him toward a singing career when he was just starting out. The “Mike Williamson & Friends” radio program airs on WTPB 99.3 FM in Rockford every day. He performs regularly at The Butterfly Club in Beloit, Wisconsin, with his band.

Williamson will perform the Dixieland favorite “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey,” Ray Henderson’s jazz classic “The Birth of the Blues,” and “I Am a Singer.”

A concert march not heard at Hopkins Park for several years, “Totem Pole” by Eric Osterling, will open the concert. It is unusual in the number of key changes it moves through, and there is a lot stacking of instruments, where more instruments are added to build up the sound and add to the excitement.

Familiar music will include songs from “Cabaret,” Broadway, and Benny Goodman, the King of Swing. There will also be selections from Russian composers Reinhold Gliere and Dimitri Shostakovich, and variations on a Russian folk song. And turn-of-the-century pop tunes like “Swanee,” “For Me and My Gal,” and “Put Your Arms Around Me Honey” are always popular with audiences.

Admission is free. Bench seating is available, or bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. DeKalb Municipal Band concerts are sponsored by the City of DeKalb and the DeKalb Park District.

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