Maestro Frances M. Scala, USMC

The Mary Polka, or Mary Todd Lincoln Polka as it is usually called, has finally emerged from history and legend. It is an intriguing piece, moving from major to minor to major, from happy to sad, to fanciful, an eerily accurate musical portrait of Mary’s mercurial moods.

The recording here is from a concert on April 14, 2013 (the 148th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination) at St. James Cathedral in Chicago where Lincoln once attended a service. It is performed by The Capitol Orchestra comprised mostly of  members of the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, David Katz, Music Director.

Joanne W. Burne, piccolo and flute

John Vishneski III, clarinet
Michael D. Poulos, trumpet

Arthur G. Carvajal, trumpet

Stephan Metzger, percussion
Jennifer Zlotow, piano

Emily A. Chen, violin

Tony Krempa, violin
Kate Swisher, viola

Douglas Wilber, cello

Dirk VanKoughnett, bass

Jack Vishneski, recording engineer

Arrangement and article © 2013

Michael D. Poulos, Esq., ASCAP

(One of the founders of ASCAP was the son of a member of Scala’s band. The son’s name was John Philip Sousa.)

Transcribed and arranged by Michael D. Poulos, Esq.
Performed by The Capitol Orchestra, April 14, 2013.