Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Band Came Back

The Band Came Back - Twice

Here is a mash-up of two performances by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band of the same Sousa number -- once in San Francisco at Ebeneezer Lutheran ("herchurch"), and again two days later in Pacifica at Terra Nova High School.

Plagiarized from Heidi Beeler:

The Band’s music librarian, Kevin Tam, has resurrected an unpublished humoresque from the Sousa Archives entitled The Band Came Back. The piece was never recorded and hasn’t been performed since ol’ John Philip himself waved the baton in front of his own band in the early 1900s.

Sousa is famously known as the March King, though more than half of his 320 compositions are anything but. The Band Came Back is a humoresque, which are compositions that feature musical practical jokes. Known for being a wisecracker, Sousa wrote 14 of these comic pieces decades before PDQ Bach hit the scene, but only two were ever published and only three recorded.

Premiered in 1895 by the Sousa Band, the piece opens with a solo oboe playing alone amidst a forest of empty music stands. Section by section, clarinets, flutes, trumpets, tuba join him onstage, adding solo quotations from well-known ditties like The Campbells Are Coming, Dixie and Sousa’s own Washington Post March. By the end, instruments all come together for a rousing rendition of the finale from Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture.

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