August 27 Concert Information

Meet the Guest Artists

Today's Date August 18, 2000 -- St. Joseph Michigan

Director of the St. Joseph Municipal Band, Dr. Donald Moely, indicated the band concerts scheduled for Sunday, August 27 at the John E. N. Howard Band Shell represent their 11th double concert of the season with concerts at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.. Dr. Moely feels that "this concert is full of the kinds of things I am proud to program in the St. Joseph Municipal Band concerts, local talent, produced and nurtured within our area communities, and lots of variety."

The concerts feature the musical artistry of four area musicians. The vocal sounds of the singer Celine Dion, highlighted in the concert will be performed by Michelle Bythrow, a product of the St. Joseph schools. The saxophone artistry of Phil Barham, originally from Dowagiac, who has performed internationally, and Leonard Merreta, a former University Band Director of Western Michigan University, and composer will guest conduct one of his own marches. The intermission entertainment will feature a Dixieland Band coordinated by Carol Stelter, trumpeter of the band, who is a native of Baroda and a product of the Lakeshore Schools..

MICHELLE BYTHROW was born and raised in Michiana, went on to study music at Indiana University, then toured with music missions across the U.S, into Canada, and finally to Greenland. She was married to Brian Bythrow in 1991 and moved to California where she began professional singing via the Sacramento Opera Company. Michelle sang in professional musical theater in Colorado and also began working in television commercials, film, print work, and studio back-up vocals. Today, she resides, with her husband and three children (Christy Rose, Cody, and Cora), in Granger, Indiana. She is a stay home Mom and continues doing film/TV work, print work as well as radio voice_overs. She is working on writing children's books and writing songs. Michelle says, "A large amount of my singing is devoted to Granger Community Church, where excellence is given to God and given to others searching for outstanding integrity in a "church" atmosphere."

LEONARD MERETTA was director of Western Michigan University Bands for 27 years. He was assistant band director and trumpet teacher at the U-M prior to his tenure at Western. Mr. Merretta’s extensive professional playing and performing experiences have included: touring the U.S. as trumpet soloist, numerous performances over radio (including NCB), performing in churches (trumpet soloist and organist0< performances in bands and orchestra conducted by Percy Grainger, Edwin Franko Goldman, Frank Simon, Erik Leidzen, Pierre Henrotte, Earl Moore, William Revelli, Thor Johnson, George Howard, and Arthur Pryor. He has guest-conducted many high school university and professional bands. Five of his marches have been published. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association. Mr. Merretta's march "Tioga," conducted today was dedicated in 1952 to Herbert Grant of Mansfield, Pennsylvania, in appreciation of his life-long support of band music in that community


PHIL BARHAM , native of Dowagiac, was dubbed by a London critic after his debut there, "An American master saxophonist..." He received his Bachelor of Music degree in woodwinds from University of North Texas , and his Master of Music Degree in wind instruments/saxophone from the University of Michigan. He was a former saxophone instructor at California State University, Northridge and is presently a clinician for the Selmer Company and Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Clarinet at Andrews University, Southwestern Michigan College and Lake Michigan College. Mr. Barham has also been saxophone instructor for Western Michigan University's Summer Seminar. As a world touring saxophone artist, he has performed in the Purcell Room, in London as well as in Oslo, at Universites Aula, and in Geneva, Switzerland. Audiences and critics agree with the opinion already offered by the New York Times published after his debut at Carnegie Recital Hall, which said that Phil's playing represents "..the ability to swing at a dancing rhythm or to blister through a swift rippling melody.." Phil is in constant demand as a clinician and performer, Mr. Barham appears regularly with the Southwest Michigan Symphony, the South Bend Symphony and the Kalamazoo Symphony, Mr. Barham has also appeared on Public Television's WNIT "Open Studio."

Carol and Kate’s Dixieland Band, are our other guests for today’s concerts. Dixieland music is about the happiest type of music there is. When one experiences this type of music, one often envisions Mardi Gras, parties, picnics and balloons. Carol & Kaye’s Dixieland band has been in existence since the 50's, and the musicians share their excitement for this type of music by the spirit with which they play. This group is organized by Carol Stelter, municipal Band trumpeter and was featured at the Venetian Festival this year.

Guest Conductor Leonard Merreta will begin the concert with his own composition "Tioga March." Saxophone soloist Phil Barham will perform "Fantasia for Alto Saxophone," by Claude T. Smith. The other members of the saxophone section will join Phil in "Five to Go," written by Jack Bullock. The ‘five,’ refers to the five saxophones featured: alto saxophones Phil Barham of Dowagiac and Andrea Steves of St. Joseph; tenor saxophones Christopher Keech, St. Joseph and Steve Schadler of St. Joseph and baritone saxophone Rich Bressler of Dowagiac.

Other marches heard in the program will include one of Karl King’s popular marches "Hosts of Freedom," along with Sousa’s "Atlantic City Pageant."

Vocalist Michelle Bythrow will sing some songs of Celine Dion with "The Power of Love," and "Because You Loved Me." The band will also accompany her in the famous love theme from the Movie ‘Titanic’, of "My Heart Will Go On." She will conclude her performance with "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." from the Movie ‘The Lion King.’

The Concerts continue and the John E. N. Howard Band Shell on the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown St. Joseph each Sunday through September 3 and concluding with its final double concert series on Labor Day, Monday, September 4.


For More Information Contact:

St. Joseph Municipal Band

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Last modified: June 30, 2001