Marches, Marches, Marches

We have been encouraging band directors, music librarians and others to share their suggestions for Golden Age band music that is fun to play and pleasing to audiences. Here are favorites from Marcus L. Neiman, conductor of the Medina Community Band. (Please note that a few of these works are missing parts–we would welcome your help if you can contribute parts that are missing.)

America First, Op. 376 (Losey). Carl Fischer, 1915. Grade 3. Time – 2.30. Time signature – cut-time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – solo cornet. Losey had formed the ‘Losey Military Band School’ in 1914 in Erie, PA and was recognized for his fine compositions. A very appropriate and playable addition to any patriotic concert.

American Red Cross (Panella, Louis). Panella, 1919. Grade 3. Time – 2.14. Time signature – cut-time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score–solo cornet. The march was written in 1918 to pay tribute to the humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross. An excellent street march or, like the Losey, appropriate for any patriotic concert. Very powerful low brass lines and tuneful trio.

America Victorious (Bagley). Bagley, 1919. Grade 3. Time – 2.28. Time signature – cut time. Key – A-flat/D-flat. Score – solo cornet. Written to express the composer’s feelings that the victory during World War I would make the world safe for democracy. Very appropriate for street march or patriotic concert. Great trio and low brass lines.

Bravura (Duble/Diller). Original publisher John Church Co. (1918), transcription by A.J. Diller. Grade 3. Time – 3:12. Time signature – cut. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – full score. Another great circus march. Diller’s new transcription offers full size parts and full score.

Circus Bee (Fillmore). Fillmore Brothers Co., 1908. Grade 5 (when played to tempo – 160 bpm). Time signature – cut time. Key – A-flat/D-flat. Score – full. This is a classic circus march, rightly referred to as a ‘barn burner.’ Seeking EbCT.

Columbiana (Farrar). Harry Coleman, 1902. Grade 3. Time – 2.30. Time signature – cut-time. Key – A-flat/D-flat. Score – solo cornet. Farrar had many Ohio connections and while there is no dedication to the march, there is a Columbiana County in Ohio. Very playable by a young band.

Columbus March, Op. 457. (Ziehrer/Geiger). Boombah Herold, 1893. Grade 3. Time – 2.51. Time signature – cut-time. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – solo trumpet. Ziehrer was one of the fiercest rivals of the Strauss family, yet the unmistakable Viennese favor of the march is evident. The march is a great introduction, or addition, to Viennese style marches and would be a welcome addition to a winter or spring concert.

Fairest of the Fair (Sousa). John Church, 1908. Grade 4. Time – 3.41. Time signature – 2/4. Key – E-flat/A-flat. The march has also been revised and blown-up to full page size with a full score by United States Marine Band and available free at their website.

Fearless (Heed). Carl Fischer, 1898. Grade 4. Time – 3.16. Time signature – cut-time. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – solo cornet. Heed was known as the ‘March Wizard’ and at the time he wrote this march, his career was flourishing. The last strain features the upper woodwinds!

Front Section (Bagley). H.N. White, 1909. Grade 3. Time – 2.00. Time signature – 6/8 – 2/4. Key – D-flat. Score – solo cornet. Similar to other Bagley offerings. Very tuneful trio and very strong low woodwind and brass lines.

Gateway City (King). C.L. Barnhouse, 1910. Grade 3. Time – 3.09. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – solo cornet. Contains “Old Lang Syne.” Dedicated to Livingston Lodge No. 246, B.P.O.E. Convention 1910.

Gladiator (Sousa). Harry Coleman, 1886. Grade 3. Time – 2.56. Time signature – cut time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – condensed. The march has also been revised and blown-up to full page size with a full score by United States Marine Band and available free at their website.

German Fidelity (Blankenburg/Laurendeau). Carl Fischer, 1914. Grade 4. Time – 3.03. Time signature – cut time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – solo cornet. Great German march by one of the master composers of marches.

King Cotton (Sousa). John Church, 1895. Grade 3. Time – 3.00. Time signature – 6/8. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – condensed. The march has also been revised and blown-up to full page size with a full score by United States Marine Band and available free at their website. This march, and Fairest of the Fair are two of Sousa’s finest exhibition marches.

Land of Hope and Glory (Elgar/Ord Hume). Boosey & Co., 1914. Grade 3. Time signature – 2/4. Key – C. Score – solo cornet. The melody is used in the Trio from “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.

Lincoln Centennial (Sanford). Carl Fischer, 1910. Grade 4. Time – 2.51. Time Signature – common time. Key – F/B-flat. Score – solo cornet. Written to celebrate the centenary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Straight ahead march. Lots of running woodwinds through the final strains. (Missing Eb cornet)

March-Ponderoso (King). (Barnhouse, 1910). Grade 4. Time = 2.50. Time signature – cut time. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – condensed. Dedicated to Otto Bohlen, clarinetist, Canton, Ohio. King was 19 years old and began a short career playing baritone in Robinson Famous Shows. A straight ahead circus march that King would have written for a professional level band. Strong tenor voice lead and woodwind runs make this a challenge.

March “W.M.B.” (Hall, Robert B.). Carl Fischer 1894. Ungraded. Time – 2:04. Time signature – Cut. Key – A-flat/D-flat. Score – condensed. There are two sets of parts here with slightly different instrumentations: the original instrumentation and the 1921 re-issue with more modern instrumentation. Both sets are complete. W.M.B. stands for Waterville Military Band (Waterville, Maine), which Hall founded and conducted. A well written march and excellent offering by Hall. Delightful euphonium lead in the trio. Added BSN, EbCL, SS, BS, EbCT

Melody Shop (King, Karl L.). C.L. Barnhouse 1910. Grade 5. Time – 2.00. Time signature – Cut. Key – F/A-flat. Score – condensed. Dedication – E.E. Powell & Al. Shortridge, of Powell Music Company. “The Melody Shop” (Canton, Ohio). One of the premiere euphonium features (note that the euphonium part is doubled in the upper woodwinds. The piece is well worth researching for how fine professional, military, and community bands interpret the march. While many ensembles take a tempo of half = 154 (or faster), a slower tempo will bring equal, or greater, enjoyment to musicians and audience alike.

Military Life (King, Karl L.). Wm. E. Strassner, 1910. Grade 3. Time – 2.36. Time signature – 6/8. Key – F/B-flat. Score – solo cornet. Military Life is unique, unlike the other military marches King composed at this time which have a certain military bearing which is appropriate for parades and “pass in reviews.” This march, while including the appropriate drum and bugle effects, has a melodic jauntiness, almost “tongue in cheek “quality.  In addition, the second strain contains a musical description of a private being “chewed out” by a sergeant. The sergeant “dresses down” at the soldier who meekly responds, but the march quickly returns to its “happy-go-lucky” nature.

National Defense (Lampe). Jerome H. Remick (1916). Grade 4. Time – 2.30. Time signature – cut time. Key – F/B-flat. Score – solo cornet. Lampe wrote several marches with titles that referred to national security. While listed as a ‘military march,’ there is a strong jazz feel to the march and great trombone and low brass lines. There is a bugle call introduction and optional ‘cannon shots’ in the trio. Last strain features lots of upper woodwind runs. Not an easy march, but great for concert or patriotic celebration.

National Game (Sousa). Sam Fox Publishing Co., 1925. Grade 3. Time – 2.53. Time signature – 6/8. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – solo cornet. The march has also been revised and blown-up to full page size with a full score by United States Marine Band and available free at their website. Many recordings of this march contain use of baseball bat hitting baseball. Dedicated to Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, who was the commissioner of baseball from 1905-1922 and a great friend of Sousa.

Old Berks (Althouse). Penn (1915). Grade 3. Time – 4.20. Time signature – cut time. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – solo cornet. Very straight ahead, melodic, and playable. Like most Althouse marches, this would be a very playable street or concert march.

On Jersey Shore (Pryor). Carl Fischer (1904). Grade 3. Time – 2.20. Time signature – cut time. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – solo cornet. Pryor presented his first performance of “The Pryor Band” on November 15th, 1903. He moved to Asbury Park and began a nearly two decades “summer home” for his band, this march evoking his love for the park. (Missing EbCT, EbA 3/4)

On the Square (Panella, Frank). Panella Music Company (1916). Grade 3. Time – 3.00. Time signature – cut time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – solo cornet. Very straight ahead, melodic, and playable! Great for the street or concert march. This march is very popular here and in England.

Philo Senate (Hall). John Church (1898). Grade 3. Time – 2.30. Time signature – cut time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – solo cornet. The march is dedicated to Philo Senate No. 332 (Waterville, Me.) (Missing Eb clarinet and Eb cornet)

Salutation (Seitz). R.F. Seitz (1914). Grade 3. Time – 2.00. Time signature – 6/8. Key – B-flat/E-flat. Score – condensed. If you have played Grandioso, you will find Salutation enjoyable.

Signal from Mars (Paull). E.T. Paull (1901). Grade 3. Time – 4.17. Time signature – cut time. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – solo cornet. Paull’s works have a special place in the history of sheet music and American popular song. If it were not for his eye for color and action in the sheet music cover, it is likely that today his works may not even be known, much less collected with any enthusiasm. His powerful musical and visual images inspired people, their patriotism and their emotions, and as a result he managed to become a phenomenon reflective of popular tastes and ideals.

Spirit of Independence (Holzmann/Lampe). Jerome M. Remick (1912). Grade 3. Time signature – 6/8. Time: 3.30. Key – E-flat/A-flat. Score – solo cornet. The march is dedicated to Lampe.

Them Basses (Huffine/Trevitz). Original 1924 publication by Fillmore Brothers, Trevitz’s edition, published by Creative Commons is a transcription. Grade 3. Time – 2.24. Time signature – 6/8. Key – F/B-flat. Score – full score (Trevitz), solo cornet (original). Huffine was self-taught and played tuba in Endicott-Johnson Shoe Factory Band. The march is a classic feature for the low brass section.