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Thread: Taps and Play Along with Marine Band

  1. #1

    Taps and Play Along with Marine Band

    Taps Across America happened on Memorial Day and over 4,000 people participated all over America. From our own New Horizons Band in Rapid City, SD, we had at least 10 who played Taps at their homes. A few of us on non-traditional instruments! One of our neighbors took a video (little bit of wind noise in the video) from her phone of me playing Taps on our front porch. I put a couple pictures and the video in Dropbox below.

    Today, the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, in collaboration with the American Bandmasters Association and Frost School of Music, had a live play-along on YouTube where people could play along with the Marine Band as they played a couple of Sousa’s most famous marches. I played along with “The Thunderer”. I started my camcorder, sat down, and when I started playing, I realized I did not have the volume of the Marine Band high enough. Oh well, I just went ahead and played anyway and tried to stay with them. I used the mic on the camcorder and the audio isn't great. I think I also forgot all about dynamics! Hope some of you got a chance to do this, too. This recording was done mostly for my fellow bandmates here, and I told them if they watched until the end, they would get a close up of my new face. Which has a beard that I have never had in all my 72 1/2 years.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ri411vooj...57QhA8yOa?dl=0

    John
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  2. #2
    Nice playing John and thanks for sharing. I had been hearing people talking about doing Taps Across America on euphonium and I was curious to hear what it would sound like. Now I know, and I liked it!

    I missed the Marine Band live play along but did play along to Stars and Stripes Forever with the YouTube recording of the event later in the day and it was really fun.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by aroberts781 View Post
    Nice playing John and thanks for sharing. I had been hearing people talking about doing Taps Across America on euphonium and I was curious to hear what it would sound like. Now I know, and I liked it!

    I missed the Marine Band live play along but did play along to Stars and Stripes Forever with the YouTube recording of the event later in the day and it was really fun.
    Thanks for the kind comments, aroberts! And it really is fun playing along with the Marine Band. I also played S&SF later with the Marine Band volume at the right level, and it was much better (and I could hear them to know where I should be!).

    Something I found real interesting about "The Stars and Stripes Forever" march was in the trio. I have played this march countless times over the years, and every piece of music I have ever used had the euphonium playing a high G concert as the 4th note in the 22nd measure of the trio (same thing for last section after dog fight). But in the version I downloaded from the U. S. Marine Band website under their Sousa marches, the note was a G concert "in" the staff! I have never seen it written that way before, although I always thought it should be. It was just plain awkward playing that high G concert. I think I will adopt the Marine Band version from now on! And I listened to the euphoniums in the Marine Band playing the trio, and they played the G concert in the staff! I am putting a picture of the way I normally see it followed by a picture of the Marine Band version below.

    The Way I Normally See S&SF
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    You may recognize the above picture as having come from none other than Dave Werden's site

    The Way the Marine Band Plays S&SF
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    Last edited by John Morgan; 05-28-2020 at 09:43 AM.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  4. Although, in their really excellent video on Sousa playing style,

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f9kibOSP7sU

    Mark and Hiram from the Marine Band play the high G, as you can see at about 12:38. I know this video was mentioned on this forum a while back, but it is worth another look. Even when they are demonstrating the “wrong” way to do it they play perfectly together and perfectly in tune.

  5. #5
    Mike,

    You are quite right in how they play the G in the tutorial on Sousa playing style for his marches. I remember seeing that a while back.

    In the Marine Band's own library of the Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa, in the editorial remarks for "The Stars and Stipes Forever", there is this:

    *The last eighth note in the melody that first appears in m. 75 (concert G) was originally written up the octave in Sousa’s
    manuscript. However, early recordings by Sousa himself reveal that this was traditionally played down as a lower minor
    third rather than a leaping major sixth, and the Marine Band has also long performed it this way.

    It is interesting to note that the date of the posting of the masterclass video on Sousa march style referenced by Mike above was September 2017.

    There are also some, including me, who play the Bb half way through the final section (after the dog fight) up an octave to high Bb. Most of the music I have seen for S&SF does not show the Bb up an octave, but in the same Marine Band library of this tune, it is shown as either a Bb on top of the staff OR a high Bb. I think I started playing it up because I heard recordings of it being played that way. And it sure sounds cool to really let loose on that note!
    Last edited by John Morgan; 05-28-2020 at 09:37 AM.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

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