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”

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”

A Brief History of African American Marching Bands

An overview of marching bands made up of African Americans from the 18th to the 20th century: As early as 1738, free mulatos, blacks, and Native Americans residing in Virginia were required to serve in the military. They were not however permitted to carry firearms. From these early days, the musical traditions of African AmericanContinue reading “A Brief History of African American Marching Bands”

Music of the Civil War

The Kennedy Center explores the topic of band music during the Civil War. (Image credit: http://www.kennedy-center.org) See the full article below: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/resources-for-educators/classroom-resources/media-and-interactives/media/music/music-of-the-civil-war/

The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band

The origin of this band dates back to the 1880s when President Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross invited a Czechoslovakian immigrant named Joseph Holick to make boots for the cadets on the college campus in central Texas. The story continues that Holick, a cobbler by trade, also played the clarinet and had some capability as aContinue reading “The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band”

Karl L. King

Karl Lawrence King was one of the most prolific composers of American marching band music, penning almost 300 works. He was born in Paintersville, Ohio in 1891. The story is told that at age eleven, Karl bought a cornet with money he had earned selling newspapers. By that time, his family had moved to Canton,Continue reading “Karl L. King”

United States Marine Band

The United States Marine Band is believed to be the oldest military band and the oldest performing organization in the country, having been authorized by an act of Congress July 11, 1798. This is the band known as “The President’s Own” because of its unique relationship to the President of the United States. Outgoing PresidentContinue reading “United States Marine Band”

Claudio S. Grafulla

Claudio Grafulla was born in 1810 (some sources say 1812) on the island of Minorca, a Mediterranean possession of Spain. He was a french horn player and moved to the United States when he was twenty-eight years old. Living in New York, he was a member of Napier Lothier’s Band, part of the 7th RegimentContinue reading “Claudio S. Grafulla”

Sousa Comes to Amarillo, 1925

“Boy Soprano Cared More for Cave Than Warbling for Sousa” This was a headline in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, December 24, 1925. The great band leader had come to the Panhandle to do a concert. Thirteen year old “Balie” (actually spelled Bailey) Warren had been invited to sing for the Sousa Band over theContinue reading “Sousa Comes to Amarillo, 1925”