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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Officials preparing for Carmichael exhibit

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

According to retired Clay Community Schools teacher and current secretary of the Brazil Park Board Caroline McCullough, the city is lucky to be one of the few entities selected to host the Hoagy Carmichael Sculpture and Educational Tour.

"I hope hundreds of Brazil area residents, young and old alike, show up for the musical program and unveiling of the Hoagy Carmichael statue," she said. "It presents an excellent opportunity to re-educate ourselves about the musical greatness of Hoagy."

Carmichael had several close ties to Brazil. For example, he taught Brazil native Russell Decker, a fellow student at Indiana University, to play the piano. His band also performed in Brazil in 1919 when he was only 20.

The program, which will feature Hoagy's songs, will take place in the Forest Park pavilion, beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday. It is scheduled to end at 9 p.m.

The following is a schedule of events for Sunday's festivities:

o 4 p.m. -- The Saxations, a saxophone quartet, featuring Bill Morthland, Jack Malone, Ralph Stewart and Jacob White,

o 5 p.m. -- CTCC Singers, Janelle Huber (flute, vocals), Susan Sneddon (keyboard), and T.J. Sneddon (drums, vocals),

o 5:30 p.m. -- unveiling of Hoagy Carmichael statue, presented by Michael McAuley, Bloomington sculptor; Matt Huber, Brazil Concert Band director; Mike Lawson, president of Riddell National Bank, corporate sponsor; Vickie Mace, vice president of Clay County Historical Society, sponsor; and McCullough,

o 6 p.m. -- Fabulous 40s,

o 7 p.m. -- Norm Hanson Trio, featuring Norm Hanson, trombone; John Perry, tenor saxophone; Schuyler Brinson, piano; Kevin Reberger, bass; and Jim Thistle, drums, and

o 8 p.m. -- Brazil Concert Band.

The tour stop in Brazil includes:

o The life-size bronze sculpture of Carmichael composing at a Steinway grand piano,

o Educational display detailing Carmichael's life and career, with archive elements,

o Educational handouts, including a children's workbook,

o Tour posters and T-shirts, and

o Audio and video clips of Carmichael's performances.

The program will feature a variety of Carmichael's unforgettable songs, such as "Stardust," billed as the most recorded song in history, and "Skylark," probably his two most famous melodies.

Huber will serve as master of ceremonies and direct the award-winning 65-member concert band.

The corporate sponsor is Riddell National Bank. It donated the necessary funds to bring the event to Brazil. Sponsor is the Clay County Historical Society.

A highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of the 750-pound life-size bronze statue of Carmichael composing a song on a Steinway grand piano. McAuley, the sculptor, is coming to Brazil for the program.

He says the statue is roughly 5-feet wide and 8-feet long, due to the piano, and just less than 5-feet in height with Carmichael seated on the piano bench. It took more than one year to complete.

The tour will wind up in Bloomington in late October where the statue will be placed in a permanent location on or near the Indiana University campus. Carmichael earned an undergraduate degree from IU in 1925 and a law degree in 1926.

He was born in Bloomington in 1899 and was buried there in early 1982.

The statue probably won't be far from the former Book Nook site at the west edge of the campus at 114 Indiana Ave., where Carmichael wrote the bulk of "Stardust" in the mid-1920s. A historic marker was placed there last month.

The project is an ongoing tribute to Carmichael, as well as a re-education tour to remind Hoosiers of his contributions to American music.

It is intended to inspire, educate, and promote the best of Indiana and Indiana University.

During his career, Carmichael was at the forefront of the American jazz movement with the talent and persona to become a household name. He composed some of America's best-loved popular songs.

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