October 6, 2010

"Age of Aquarius" or "Stars and Stripes Forever"?

I can say without hesitation that if you're a marching band, the answer is "Stars and Stripes Forever." I speak from direct experience, as a homeowner who has overheard the UW Marching Band practice sessions for a quarter century.

32 comments:

Big Mike said...

You should live in the Washington metro area. Then you could get tired of hearing "The Washington Post March" instead.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yes. Plus, why "Age of Aquarius?"

I went to a two week arts summer camp when I was a kid. The entire second week was spent preparing for a program where we had to sing that song. None of us knew why we were singing that song. Was the director into astrology? Loved Hair? It was mystifying. Also, a complete waste of time.

traditionalguy said...

That reminded me that the first music that I ever bought, on a 33 album, and played over and over at age 7. It was a John Phillip Souza Marches album. The Washington Post March was my favorite. Souza was a true American genius. He was of Bavarian German descent, as was one of my grandfathers, who also happened to compose music for a living.

edutcher said...

We need another Richard Wagner or John Philip Sousa to keep us supplied with new marches. When marching bands are forced to use material for halftime like the theme to Soul Train, something has to be done.

PS You have my sympathy, Madame.

Maguro said...

That's a trick question. The correct answer is "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.

Quayle said...

Oh Ann, hasn't the UW marching band perfected their rendition of "Imagine" by now?

The Drill SGT said...

I'm sorry, but if a marching band can't play the full set of Souza marches, they should well.... loose all their Souzaphones :)


Yes. Plus, why "Age of Aquarius?"

a college anti-war thing, left over from 1967?

ricpic said...

John Williams is our contemporary John Phillip Souza.

True, he doesn't write marches per se, but all his fast paced upbeat stuff has that same thrilling effect.

Michael Haz said...

Do you open the door and yell "Play BUD!!!!11!"

Anne B. said...

How about "Scotland the Brave?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6vX_U3Fl2M

Lawcruiter said...

Freebird?

Crimso said...

In high school band we had a very talented flute player (flautist?) who played that piccolo part in SaSF. Listening to her play that as we played our own parts always was enjoyable, though my favorite march to play was "National Emblem" (not a Sousa). As a body of work Sousa stands alone; genuinely rousing at an almost primeval level. Dude just makes you want to flat out get up and march.

rhhardin said...

Air on a G-string for tuba.

traditionalguy said...

Another favorite of mine was King Cotton March. It really is one of Souza's best works. It was written for the 1895 Cotton States Exposition at Atlanta's fairground and played in the bandshell there for the first time. That land become Piedmont Park, which is still Atlanta's version of Central Park or Hyde Park. Now they only do summer Jazz festivals and art festivals there. Wisconsin has German ethnic areas that should like hearing Souza music.

The Drill SGT said...

Anne B. said...
How about "Scotland the Brave?"


I'll call and raise you 3:

Real Scots Regiments

The Edinburgh Tattoo

Massed Pipes

Edinburgh Miltary Tattoo 2009 - Scotland the Brave

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72tO1kXmnlU


all in all, a world class show :)

traditionalguy said...

Drill Sgt...Thanks for the exciting u-tube of Scotland the Brave March. They do a smaller version of that march one Sunday every year at the Peachtree Presbyterian Church's heritage day. (My other 3 grandfathers having been Scots-Irish covenant men).

richard mcenroe said...

I actually heard the Marine Corps marching band play a medley from 'Hair' at an event. Cognitive dissonance beyond description. The entire stadium was baffled.

former law student said...

Souza was a true American genius. He was of Bavarian German descent

Odd he had a Portuguese surname, then.

BJM said...

Ha! We live above Strawberry Canyon. The worst song evah wafting up from the Cal band was "Guantanamera". Wrong on every level.

The Drill SGT said...

former law student said...
Odd he had a Portuguese surname, then.


His parents were of Portuguese and Bavarian (German) descent. 1 each

Mom was a Trinkhaus.

HDHouse said...

as an x michigan state univ. band guy...i agree and envy your living in earshot. i always thought the UW band was very very good and played extremely well...as to sousa....

..JP Sousa and Horowitz the pianist........

Meade said...

The UW Marching Band plays one particular song especially well. On Wisconsin.

The Crack Emcee said...

Why "Age of Aquarius?"

I went to a two week arts summer camp when I was a kid. The entire second week was spent preparing for a program where we had to sing that song. None of us knew why we were singing that song. Was the director into astrology? Loved Hair? It was mystifying. Also, a complete waste of time.


As is all the NewAge.

When marching bands are forced to use material for halftime like the theme to Soul Train, something has to be done.

What have you got against Soul Train? (It's a classic song.) Not to mention, the U.S.C. Marching Band does such a swinging version of Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio", I don't even care it's got an astrology theme - it's cool.

BJM said...

How about Strauss Sr's "Radetzky March"?

We attended several New Years Day concerts in Vienna over the years including the 2007 Concert conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Palladian said...

"We need another Richard Wagner or John Philip Sousa to keep us supplied with new marches."

Wagner, a great composer, was a rather inept march writer, unless your marching band has 592 players and a giant barge to haul them along the parade route.

"John Williams is our contemporary John Phillip Souza."

Yes, both mediocre writers of incidental music.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Drill:

Do love those pipes.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Horowitz was pleasant HDHouse, and you obviously were a fan. However, I'm a conservative when it comes to Souza, and when it comes to Souza, it has to have big brass ones.

rhhardin said...

Rozsa over Sousa.

k*thy said...

We're going to our one game of the year, on Saturday, and taking our 6-year old nephew with us. It's his first.

I do love what the band brings to game day. One of the highlights of living in a college town.

Also, yeah, gotta go with the Souza marches...

Ralph L said...

The UW Marching Band plays one particular song especially well. On Wisconsin
But when they're out-of-state, they play it badly?

LarsPorsena said...

"What have you got against Soul Train? (It's a classic song.) Not to mention, the U.S.C. Marching Band does such a swinging version of Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio", I don't even care it's got an astrology theme - it's cool."

The USC marching band playing "Conquest" is the tops. It's the school 'fight song'. It's actually the theme from the movie "Captain form Castile" by composer Alfred Newman. Everything else is second best. It makes the hair on the back of your head stand up (in a good way;-)