The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa

The 2007 Summer Concert Series - June 10, June 17

The Karl King Band is performing in front of the Fort Dodge Public Library.  With the renovation of the Karl King Bandshell in Oleson Park still in progress, again this year there was a need to move the location of the traditional Sunday night concerts.  Known to many residents as the City Square, the park was renamed Karl L. King Park several years ago by the Fort Dodge City Council.

Jerrold Jimmerson, conductor
Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa

June 10

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The popular area Brass Quintet, Jive For Five, was the featured performing ensemble for this concert, playing before the concert and performing two selections with the band.  The first selection, A Sousa Collection, featured well-known melodies from some of John Philip Sousaís most famous marches.  The Quintet also performed the popular Dixieland standard, Thatís A-Plenty with the band.   Members of this Quintet, who are also all King Band members, include: Tim Miller, Humboldt, trumpet; David Swaroff, Dayton, trumpet; Kathy Yoakam, Humboldt, French horn; Dan Cassady, Fort Dodge, trombone; and Paul Bloomquist, Manson, tuba.

This opening concert of the season featured patriotic music in observance of the Flag Day Holiday.  Marches included on the program were 147th Field Artillery by Karl L. King, Americans We by Henry Fillmore, and Old Glory Triumphant by Charles Duble.

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The eveningís overture was Concord, written by Clare Grundman for the United States Marine Band.  The band also performed an arrangement of songs from Americaís history, entitled An American Celebration by Larry Neeck.  On the lighter side was The Homefront: Musical Memories from World War II, arranged by James Christensen.  Music from all five branches of the military were played during the Armed Forces Salute medley, and audience members and their families were invited to stand in recognition of military service.

This special Flag Day concert also featured a tribute to the American flag, entitled Lest We Forget, which was narrated by long-time King Band member, Harlan VandeBerg.  Mr. VandeBerg taught for several years at Phillips Middle School in Fort Dodge, and plays trumpet with the Band.  After The Stars and Stripes Forever March by John Philip Sousa, this concert closed with our National Anthem, The Star-spangled Banner.

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June 17

This concert was planned as a special tribute to long-time member of the King Band and former conductor W. B. Green.  He was born in Stratford, Texas in 1906 and graduated from Dalhart, Texas High School in 1924.  Most of his course work in Music was done at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln before receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake.  Mr. Green also received his Masters degree in Music from the University of South Dakota, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Music from Buena Vista.

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Bill Green taught in the public schools of Nebraska before coming to Iowa to teach at Pomeroy, Gowrie, and Barnum at the urging of Karl King.  Later, in 1942, he became the band director at Storm Lake High School, and in 1950 he moved to Buena Vista College, where he taught and directed the college band for 25 years, retiring in 1975.  He also represented the American Bandmasterís Association throughout Europe, Japan, and Mexico, presenting clinics on American school music programs.

Upon the death of Karl King in 1971, Mr. Green became the director of the Municipal Band in Fort Dodge.  Mr. Green was directing the King Band when it performed for our nationís Bi-Centennial celebration in 1976, directing concerts at Arlington National Cemetery, the Botanical Gardens, and to a capacity audience at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  It was 30 years ago, in 1977, that he suffered a sudden heart attack during the bandís Sunday rehearsal, and died later that evening.

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Three of W. B. Greenís published compositions were performed during this Sundayís concert, Trumpets Up, Flying With The Colors, and the Spanish march, La Roquina.

In addition, conductor Jimmerson, who was a student of Mr. Green for 4 years at Buena Vista College, selected some of Greenís personal favorite selections that the college band would frequently perform.  These included the Karl L. King march, War March of the Tartars, the overture, Italian In Algiers by Rossini, highlights from the popular Broadway musical The Sound Of Music, Begin The Beguine by Cole Porter, Marche Militaire Francaise by Saint-Saens, and May The Good Lord Bless and Keep You by native Iowan Meredith Willson.

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A special highlight of this concert was the playing of a circus waltz used by various trapeze artists, titled Ariel Waltz Medley.  This composition was originally written by Karl King, but was never published.  After the disastrous fire in Fort Dodge in 1971 that destroyed the band library, instruments, rehearsal area, and uniforms, Bill Green reconstructed this medley from memory so that it could continue to be performed.

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