On Wednesday, June 21, the Merrill City Band begins its 2017 concert series in Normal Park at 7 p.m. There have been a few changes to the original schedule because of park construction. The Aug. 2 concert is on the west side and the band will return to Normal Park on Aug. 9 for the big themed Halloween event, “Things That Go Bump In The Night.”
The band kicks off the season with “California Themin’.” The program will include “The California Polka,” “Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” as well as a little Beach Boys music, some Disney tunes, and more. Soprano Saydi Stewart joins the band for “The Water Is Wide.”
HAVEN will be selling delicious popcorn, lemonade, and other tasty treats. There will be something special for the young audience members and the weekly kiddie parade. At the conclusion of the parade, all little marchers will be given a coupon for free ice cream at Briq’s, Culver’s, Cup-n-Cone or Dairy Queen.
Over the past few years, the season has started with a big themed event involving costumes, activities for kids, games, prizes, and concessions. The band will instead conclude the year with this event. Everyone is hoping the weather will cooperate enough over the coming weeks to allow the construction of the new restrooms, concession stand, warming house, and storage area to be completed. The band is partnering with The Haunted Sawmill for this concert, including ghoul Vincent Mudgett. Boo!
The following week, June 28, guest director Michael Chula steps to the podium. The band presents “April May March in June,” and Mr. Chula promises four months worth of music and other related tunes in just one hour.
On July 5, the band sends a special invitation to all veterans, those currently serving, and auxiliary members to help celebrate our great country. For the first time, the band is also inviting anyone who would like to sing with the group, to join them on the National Anthem and “God Bless America.” Anyone interested in singing should come to the Merrill High School at 5:30 p.m. the night of the performance for a quick run through. The choir will sing the melody in unison and lyrics will be provided. Use door 13 on the stadium side of the building.
Other themes for the season include “Polka Man, Go,” “Jolly Rodgers and Hammerstein,” “Taking The World By Storm,” and “Back To The Future II – A New West Side Story.” All concerts are free and the public is invited to bring a lawn chair, blanket, a toe to tap, and a smile.