Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
The Indiana State University Performing Arts Series is teaming up with the Terre Haute Community Band to help launch 2013 Year of the River activities with a concert.
Focusing on a river theme, the concert, “Back Home Again,” will be performed at 2 p.m. Jan. 27 in the University Hall Theatre in the Bayh College of Education building on the campus of Indiana State University.
The concert features the premiere of two new band arrangements commissioned by the Terre Haute Community Band.
David Watkins, emeritus professor of horn at ISU, is composing a new arrangement of “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away,” Indiana’s state song composed by Terre Haute native Paul Dresser. Published in 1897, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” was among the best-selling songs of the 19th century, earning more than $100,000 from sheet-music revenues.
The lyrics of the ballad reminisce about life near Dresser’s childhood home by the Wabash River in Terre Haute. The song remained popular for decades, and the Indiana General Assembly adopted it as the official state song on March 14, 1913.
John McIntyre, associate professor of music at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, has been commissioned to create a new arrangement of “Back Home Again in Indiana,” composed by Ballard MacDonald and James F. Hanley and first published in January 1917.
While it is not the official state song of Indiana, it is perhaps the best-known song that pays tribute to the Hoosier state. The tune was introduced as a Tin Pan Alley pop-song of the time. Since 1946, it has been an annual tradition for the chorus of the song to be performed at the Indianapolis 500.
Works by Indiana composers and music prominently identified with rivers will be featured in the program. A medley, “Cole Porter on Broadway,” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” show famous Indiana composers at their musical best. Some other selections included can be considered as representative of famous rivers. “The Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana and “American Riversongs” by Pierre La Plante are based on traditional and composed music that reflects an earlier time when the rivers and waterways were the lifelines of a growing nation.
Conducting the Terre Haute Community Band is Yvonne Newlin, who recently retired from her full-time position as Performing Arts coordinator in the music department at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill.; however, she continues to teach as adjunct faculty.
The performance will begin at 2 p.m., with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and may be purchased from the Hulman Center Ticket Office, ticketmaster.com, or charged at 1-800-745-3000.
Indiana State University students will be admitted for free with a student ID. More information and directions can be found by visiting www.hulmancenter.org.