This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Band concert

The Spring Band Concert at Saint Joseph's College today had an interesting selection of music. The larger Symphonic Band played selections based on music from Pixar movies, Saving Private Ryan, and the on-line game World of Warcraft. The Wind Ensemble played music that came from the the music collection that Saint Joseph's College owns. Two of the pieces came from the Adam P. Lesinsky Library and one from the Bohumir Kyrl Music Library.

Who were these guys? Lesinsky was director of the Saint Joseph' College Bands from 1957 until 1968. Earlier in his career he played in John Phillip Sousa's Band as a cornetist, and he was active in the high school music scene as head of the National School Orchestra Association. He did some composing and arranging, and if you search his name on Amazon, you can find some that are still in publication (along with some books of his that are no longer in print.) When he retired, he left his music library of over 1000 pieces to the college.

Bohumir Kyrl is easier to find on the Internet--he has a rather lengthy Wikipedia entry. Born in what is now the Czech Republic in 1875, he not only was a talented musician and band director, but was also an artist who worked on the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Indianapolis. His connection to Saint Joseph's College seems to be through Adam Lesinsky, who was his student. He not only donated his music library, but also donated 15 or 16 paintings, one of which was stolen. It was identified as by the important Renaissance artist Bernini, but I recall being told that it was later determined to be "School of Bernini" and not nearly as valuable as originally thought. Saint Joe's does not seem to have kept track of what happened to these 15 paintings--were they sold, how many are still at the college, etc.

The Jazz Band did not play at the concert--they will be the pit band for the Spring Musical in less than two weeks.

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