Rockford's Mike Williamson will be the featured vocalist at the next DeKalb Municipal Band concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Dee Palmer Band Shell in Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road in DeKalb. The band is directed by Kirk Lundbeck.
Williamson started his singing career with The Proud Americans. His friends, The Lettermen, inspired him to start a career in music and he has sung with them on stage many times. As producer and performer, Williamson has released 14 record albums including his new "Now You’re Here" CD, which contains original songs he wrote with keyboardist Bruce L. Warden.
Williamson has entertained at many venues including The State Department Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Bartke's Dinner Theater in Tampa and Casino Queen in St. Louis and his music shows are performed for many tour groups coming throughout northern Illinois.
In 2015, Williamson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rockford Area Music Industry along with Composer Of The Year with collaborator Bruce L. Warden and several Best Broadway/Cabaret Act Awards.
The Northern Illinois American Cancer Society presented Williamson with its Margaret Sheldon Award for "Magic Monday," his benefit at the Rockford Metro Centre which ran for 16 consecutive years. "Magic Monday" was endorsed by Presidents Ford, Reagan and George H. W. Bush and many celebrities including Bob Hope, James Stewart, Paul Anka, Amy Grant and Johnny Mathis. His radio program, “Mike Williamson & Friends,” airs daily on WTPB 99.3 FM in Rockford and features music from many of his musical friends. It is available online at www.wtpblp.com.
He sings regularly with his group at The Butterfly Club in Beloit, Wisconsin, and at Rockford’s Stockholm Inn. Williamson's website is MikeWilliamsonMusic.com.
On Tuesday, Williamson will sing “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “It’s Almost Like Being in Love,” from Lerner and Lowe’s “Brigadoon,” and “When You’re Smiling.”
The contemporary concert style march “650 East” will open the program, followed by Peter Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” Fantasy-Overture.
Next are “On the Hudson” and “On the Mall.” They have similar names and are both written by Edwin Franko Goldman, yet sound very different.
“Chicago – The Musical” is from the 2002 film “Chicago,” which is based on the satirical Broadway show that explores celebrity, scandal and corruption in Jazz Age Chicago.
“El Relicario” is a Spanish paso doble. The title denotes a locket, or relic, which is worn by the matador as good luck in his fight against the bull.
In “Phantom of the Opera,” Andrew Lloyd Webber creates stage music that is adaptable and effective for concert performance. Having debuted Oct. 9, 1986, in London’s West End at Her Majesty’s Theatre, the production first opened on Broadway in January 1988. It was the winner of seven Tony Awards and the longest running musical in Broadway’s history.
Johann Strauss’s “Chit Chat Polka,” Leroy Anderson’s favorite “The Irish Washerwoman” and a trombone novelty “Trombones Triumphant” are in the company of Henry Fillmore’s march, “His Honor” to finish out Tuesday's program.
Admission is free. Bench seating is available or bring a lawn chairs or blanket.
Concerts will continue at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 22.