Passionate love and wistful longing will blend in sweet harmony when the Columbus City Band presents a Valentine’s weekend gift to the community. It will come in the form of the song “I Know Him So Well,” from the Broadway musical “Chess.”

The volunteer ensemble’s free winter concert will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at The Commons, where musicians sometimes have drawn as many as 600 people.

Euphonium player Bob Davie, a former trumpeter with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, presented the idea for performing the piece after having a friend in his native Scotland create a new arrangement for the ensemble.

The 43-year city band veteran believes the local audience will approve of the reincarnation of a tune recorded by such mainstream music notables as Susan Boyle and Whitney Houston.

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“I think they’re really going to love it,” Davie said. “It’s just a beautiful piece.”

Davie will team with flutist Beth Slaton to duet on the work. The two will stand together as they play, surrounded by the band.

“I hope I can control my nerves and we can hold it together (emotionally),” Slaton said of the work, adding that some people remember loved ones lost when they hear it. “It’s very sweet. I hope we do it justice.”

City band director Steve McGrew called it “very, very sensitive, very slow-moving and expressive.”

Added to the romance of the afternoon will be works such as Richard Rogers’ “My Funny Valentine.” Yet, McGrew will stay true to the ensemble’s commitment to marches, presenting three of those, including Leroy Anderson’s “Ticonderoga March.”

Among other pieces, the concert will include “The Music Makers Overture” by Alfred Reed. The work is based on the Arthur O’Shaughnessey poem “We Are the Music Makers.”

Clarinetist Beth White said she sees it as “a joyous affirmation of the power of music to move the spirit of man.”

Fighting winter's chill

What: Columbus City Band’s winter concert

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus.

Admission: Free.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.