Band Appearance in the NCWBF

This article appeared in Civil War Talk, 1/25/14

Participating in the NCWBF was the Heritage Brass Band from Dallas, Tx. This band is the largest volunteer reenactment band in the Southwest, based in Dallas. Dressed in authentic uniforms, they play period music from the Civil War, Indian Wars, and WWII. Much in demand in the Texas area, the Band has performed for dances, ceremonies, reenactments, living histories, funerals, parades, and movie premiers. Appearances have included Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Livingston, Corsicana, Gainesville, Denison, Waco, Hillsboro, Old Fort Concho, and Old Fort Belknap. The Band regularly appears at the Texas State Railroad in Palestine, and often marches in the Fort Worth Stock Show Parade.

This band came to Irving to play for the “Irving Chautaqua: The Rich Musical Legacy of the Civil War”. Under the direction of Larry Johnson, the band’s repertoire included familiar tunes such as “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, to obscure pieces like a march by Stephen Foster (known for “Camptown Races” and “Sewannee River”), called “Santa Ana’s Retreat from Buena Vista”.

Music of the period is more familiar than most of us imagine. Johnson led the band in playing, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp the Boys are Marching”. The modern audience immediately recognized the tune of “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. The religious revival that followed the Civil War turned many of the old military songs into popular hymns.

With a brass band of Confederate re-enactors closing the performance, what would you expect to hear? Of course, brass horns led a slow, rich, heartfelt rendition of “Dixie”.

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