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Thread: US Navy Band 1943 Short Film-- Some beautiful euph playing on English Euphs! Harold?

  1. US Navy Band 1943 Short Film-- Some beautiful euph playing on English Euphs! Harold?

    This great video posted on the great Navy Musician's Association FB page...

    A good bunch of playing, and remarkably good recording quality. 1943-- and it appears to be Harold Brasch (hard to recognize in "Euniform")...and the two euphers are playing on upright 43 valve (Probably Bessons) instruments.

    Gorgeous playing!

    As a former Navy Music Program player, it does bring a certain amount of puffed up pride for the long heritage of great players that have served.

    https://www.facebook.com/usnavyband/...248483396/?t=4

    Enjoy! and "Fair winds and following seas!"

  2. #2
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    Bessons in '43? Whoda' thunk it!

    Dennis
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
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  3. #3
    Welcome to the forum Euphertom! And thanks for the link to the great video of the Navy Band during WWII.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by highpitch View Post
    Bessons in '43? Whoda' thunk it!

    Dennis
    Yeah, I was under the impression that Harold Brasch introduced the Besson to our country in the late '40's.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  5. There are three euphers, two of whom have Imperials and one has a bell front Conn double bell. These instruments were old Boosey&Hawkes 10" bell Imperials from the '30's. The story as told by Arthur Lehman here http://www.dwerden.com/eu-articles-lehman-Brasch6.cfm is:

    "But, I repeat, what about the origin of this old euphonium? Well, I can't prolong it any further. I will have to tell what I know of its origin. I can only relate the story which Harold told me back in the august 1946. This is not the only story of the origin of the instrument which Harold is reputed to have told. There is at least one other, and different, story which he mentioned at one time or other. I never heard him mention any origin save the one I shall relate next.

    What Harold told me about this old horn was this. It was probably at the start of WWII, probably before America got in the war. A British warship was banged up in a naval battle in the Atlantic ocean. It limped to an American port where it stayed for a time while repairs were being made. I don't remember what port but on the east coast there are some large naval installations capable of repairing any damage at all to any kind of ship.

    At any rate somewhere along the line some of the ship's crew made their way to Washington, D.C. and the wound up in the Washington Navy yard. Along with some officers of the British ship were the members of the ship's band - a very, very small band, probably 14-15 players. They were the guests of The U.S. Navy Band and a good time was had by all.

    The British ship's band members were very highly impressed by the high quality of The U.S. Navy Band as they attended a couple of band rehearsals and radio broadcasts. They really liked the American instruments. The upshot of this was that, in a friendly act of diplomacy, The U.S. Navy arranged to present the British band with a new set of American musical instruments to replace their old, beat-up English instruments. Harold said that those instruments were in sad repair - literally falling apart. That's the main reason that small ship's band was so thrilled to be given a brand new set of musical instruments. They were, however, required to give their old instruments to the Navy Band for disposal. Apparently, disposal meant reconditioning and placing back in circulation within the Navy Band system. How the old euphonium remained with the Navy Band so long is anyone's guess."

    So this explains why two Boosey's and one Conn. The Navy Band did not switch to Boosey & Hawkes full time until quite a bit later when they could get delivery of new instruments from England, though Harold Brasch started using his pre-war instrument more regularly in 1946.
    Last edited by daruby; 04-23-2020 at 05:38 PM.
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