For 30 summers, the crowds came and music filled the Centenary Band Shell as the popular summer concerts continued, lasting six years after Causey's retirement in 1981.
Now the tradition that departed the Shreveport scene in 1987 is making a comeback this summer and organizers hope that the tradition will be rekindled.
Summer Band Concerts will return beginning June 6 and continuing also on June 13 and 20 at 8 p.m. in the Hargrove Amphitheater in the center of the Centenary campus. They are free and open to the public, with concertgoers invited to bring lawn chairs and their own picnics, or patronize the refreshment booth.
A special feature on June 6 will be an appearance by B. P. Causey, 84, the former director of bands at Centenary, as well as regular performances by his son, Bill Causey, 56, a Shreveport musician and director of the Centenary Jazz Band. Even a third generation will be involved as Bill's son, Andy Causey, 32, joins the first concert in the percussion section.
With a nod to nostalgia, B.P. Causey will conduct Bill as he performs the trumpet solo in Carnival of Venice, which Bill performed as a youngster during the 1957 season.
Bill Causey and Dr. Thomas Stone, director of instrumental music at Centenary, have revived the concerts with funding from the Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and the American Federation of Musicians. The band members include professional musicians and a few Centenary music majors.
The June 6 concert will also feature Dr. Stone's arrangement of The Dream Is Alive, music from the IMAX film. Other pieces to be performed are National Emblem, American Overture, Irish Tune, Shepherd's Hey, highlights from The Music Man, Fanfare and Allegro, March from Symphonic Metamorphoses, Four Scottish Dances, Phantom of the Opera, Hoedown and The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Dr. Gale Odom, dean of the Hurley School of Music will emcee the June 6 concert.
On June 13, the emcee will be Liz Swaine of the Shreveport Mayor's Office. That concert will include vocals by Dr. Odom, soprano, and Dr. Horace English, bass-baritone, singing three Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. Also on the program are Vilabella, Suite Francaise, Shenandoah, Oliver, Midway March, Suite of old American Dances,Celebration, Chester, and Bugler's Holiday. The concert will conclude with Sousa's The Liberty Bell, and The Fairest of the Fair.
A special feature of the June 20 concert will be a new set of songs for solo soprano and band, Four Maryland Songs, sung by Centenary alumna Jennifer Dowd. Also on the program will be American Salute, Battle Hymn, Variations on America, Amazing Grace, Overture to Candide, Our Town, Commando March, Punchinello, Belle of the Ball, Sun Dance, West Side Story, Mt. Marcy March, Saxophobia, featuring Bob Maynard, and The Billboard.
Dr. English will serve as emcee. Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab called the prospect of once again enjoying summer concerts by the Summer Band "a great source for excitement and promise for the Centenary community … and a source of pride and inspiration for the Shreveport-Bossier community as well."
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