Earle Harry Hagen – “The Famous Composer Nobody Ever Heard Of”

One of the wonderful songs in our large “book” of music is called “Harlem Nocturne.” Linked below is an excellent biography of the composer by Wayne S. Walker. The author provides an interesting look into the life and musical career of Mr. Hagen.

Harry James and Circus Bands

Trumpeter Harry Haag James was born on March 15, 1916 to Everett Robert James and Maybelle Myrtle James in Albany, Georgia. His father played trumpet and was working as a conductor for traveling circus bands. His mother also had a circus background, but as a performer. She had been an acrobat and horseback rider. EverettContinue reading “Harry James and Circus Bands”

Honoring Zach Brooks, 8/12/18

The band was delighted to participate in an event in Chatfield, Texas to honor World War I soldier Zach Brooks, an African American soldier from the area. The memorial service took place at Chatfield Baptist Church. Mr. Brooks was one of five individuals who died during the war, a rather high number for such aContinue reading “Honoring Zach Brooks, 8/12/18”

Navy Hymn

The song alternately known as the “Navy Hymn,” “For Those in Peril on the Sea” or “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” dates back to 1860. During the 19th century, hymnbooks typically included sections of hymns devoted to the subject of divine protection for travelers, particularly for naval travel. This hymn has likely been the mostContinue reading “Navy Hymn”

El Degüello / El Dagüello

What music should be associated with the Alamo? There are at least two pieces that are known as El Degüello (alternatively spelled El Dagüello or simply the “Americanized” Deguello). The first is a bugle call traditionally thought to have been played by the Mexican Army and the second is a hauntingly beautiful melody that appearsContinue reading “El Degüello / El Dagüello”

Frank W. Meacham

Frank White Meacham was born in Buffalo, New York in 1856 to John Horace Meacham and Mary Emma Page Meacham. He was the middle child of at least five siblings. In the 1865 census, John Horace’s profession was listed as broker and in the 1875 census when Frank was 19, John Horace’s profession was listedContinue reading “Frank W. Meacham”

Josef Franz Wagner

Wagner was the composer of a well known march called “Under the Double Eagle” in 1893. It has been so often performed by United States bands over the years that it could easily be mistaken to be an American patriotic work. What was the double eagle? J. F. Wagner was Austrian and the double eagleContinue reading “Josef Franz Wagner”

Brothers of John Philip Sousa

Antony August Sousa (1868-1918) – He went by the nickname “Tony” and was known as an athlete, composer, author, poet and newspaperman among his other talents. At the time of his death, he had been a government employee for 33 years. His athletic talents and interests included baseball and cricket and while in Washington wasContinue reading “Brothers of John Philip Sousa”

Robert Browne Hall

Most often known simply as R. B. Hall, this composer lived most of his life in Maine. He was born in 1858 and died in 1907. He was born in Bowdoinham, ME to Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel W. Hall. Robert took lessons on E-flat cornet from his father and later added B-flat cornet to theContinue reading “Robert Browne Hall”