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Wheaton Municipal Band presents 'Healing Power of Music'.

Byline: Submitted by Gail Sonkin

On Thursday, July 11, the Wheaton Municipal Band Concert explores the healing power of music with Alex Kaminsky, former director of bands at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., downtown Wheaton.

After the tragic shooting at the high school, the nation watched and wondered how the students and faculty could recover from such trauma and loss.

"The power of music has never been more evident to me than how I saw it help my students deal with their inner emotions," Kaminsky said. "Their music-making took on a new dimension. Everyone that heard their voice through their music were deeply affected by it, myself included."

This week's program includes music not often performed in Memorial Park, and it promises to be an evening filled with emotion and healing.

Kaminsky picked the music selections because the Stoneman Douglas Wind Symphony performed them at various times after the shooting. The music includes "American Overture" by Jenkins, "Be Thou My Vision" by Gillingham, and "Children's March" by Percy Granger.

Also on the program is a work by Wayne Oquin. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wind Ensemble premiered Oquin's work "Song for Silent Voices" at the Midwest Band Conference in 2018.

Oquin wrote in his score, "These brave young musicians, having been through unspeakable tragedy, are an inspiration to all. This music somehow merges grief and gratitude; the quiet void from a life lost and the thankfulness for times shared."

"Our music-making centered around Leonard Bernstein's quote, this will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before,' " Kaminsky said.

Bernstein said this after he conducted a performance that honored the recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

"Music is an art just like an artist can paint his/her emotion onto a canvas, a musician can play a piece expressing emotion. A musician's canvas is silence," Kaminsky said. "Music can heal in many ways. Playing music has proven to be a great form of therapy."

Kaminsky has been recognized for his musical excellence, receiving the National Band Association's Citation of Excellence 10 times and the top rating of Superior at the State Concert Band Assessment for an unprecedented 23 consecutive years. He has taken a new position as director of bands with Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago.

Also on this evening's program is a new work commissioned for the Wheaton Municipal Band by composer Ornsby Rose.

The band performs the premiere at this concert and the composer will be in the audience enjoying its first performance.

For more information, visit the band's website,

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Title Annotation:Neighbor
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Jul 10, 2019
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