Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band to present ‘Folk Songs and Favorites’ at MUM

MIDDLETOWN — The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band will close out the band’s regular performance season with “Folk Songs and Favorites” at an afternoon concert.

“This is our 53rd season after the pandemic. We do three concerts a year at Dave Finkelman Auditorium, and this will be the first time as the new music director that I’ve been able to direct all three programs, So, we’re looking forward to it,” said Danny Maddox Nichols, music director of the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band (SOSB) will present its final concert of the regular performance season on Sun, May 1 at 2:30 p.m. at MUM’s Dave Finkelman Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

In traditional SOSB style, the concert will kick off with “The Star-Spangled Banner” arranged by Walter Damrosch and John Phillip Sousa and edited by Keith Brion. Following “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the band will go into “The National Emblem March” by E.E. Bagley.

“The National Emblem of the United States is the American Bald Eagle and it’s a march that was written back when the Bald Eagle became the National Emblem of the United States,” Nichols said.

Other highlights of the first part of the program will include “English Folk Song Suite,” “Aurora Borealis,” and “Folk Song” from Armenian Folk Song and Dance.

The first half of the concert will conclude with a veteran’s tribute and the recognition of service members as the band plays “Armed Forces Salute,” a song arranged by Bob Lowden. There are veterans in the band as well as in the audience.

“The ‘Armed Forces Salute’ goes through all the different branches of service, and while we are playing, the veterans are invited to stand and be recognized,” Nichols said, “They appreciate that they are being thanked, not just verbally, but with a musical selection.”

Following a brief intermission, the band will continue with “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland; arranged by Robert Longfield.

All of the pieces in the second half were composed or arranged by great American composers and arrangers. The iconic “Fanfare for the Common Man,” originally was written for a small brass group, and was commissioned by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. It was premiered by the CSO in 1943. The arrangement SOSB is playing was written for a full orchestra.

The second half of the concert will also feature “Symphonic Suite from Star Wars: The Suite Awakens” by John Williams; arranged by Jay Bocock, followed by “Lerner and Loewe In Concert” by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe; arranged by Warren Barker.

The program will close with another patriotic song, “America, The Beautiful” by Samuel Augustus Ward; arranged by Warren Barker. There will also be a surprise encore.

“You won’t leave our concert without hearing something that you like to hear. Not everybody likes everything, but we try and meet the needs of everybody on the stage as well as the folks that are in the audience,” said Nichols.

He said the selections for each concert are a combination of standard pieces the band has played over time, along with new music, such as new pieces that have recently been composed.

“Each piece has a different story and a different style to be played. This is more of a traditional program, but the second half gets pretty diverse in terms of what you’re going to hear,” Nichols said.

With about 68 members, SOSB performs three concerts each season in the Dave Finkelman Auditorium. In addition to its regular season, the band will perform an outdoor, summer concert at Keehner Park Amphitheater on Sat., June 4 at 7 p.m. Keehner Park is located at 7221 Barret Road in West Chester Twp.

How to go

What: “Folk Songs and Favorites” presented by the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band

When: Sunday, May 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Miami University Regionals Middletown Campus, Dave Finkelman Auditorium, 4200 N. University Blvd

More info: Visit

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