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Thread: An Upside of Military Band Playing

  1. #1

    An Upside of Military Band Playing

    Some military band performances are under uncomfortable circumstances - no doubt about that. (Of course, to some extent that can be true for civilian gigs, too.) But some are much more rewarding. There are the musically-satisfying gigs, and I was lucky enough to have hundreds of those. But some are just plain fun, even if not musically satisfying.

    For Bob Hope's 80th birthday in 1983 they had quite a show prepared for the Kennedy Center, including a great many A-list stars (George Burns, Sheena Easton, Loretta Lynn, etc.), the President of the United States, and all 5 military services' bands. The bands were all cut down in numbers so we could fit on the stage all at once. The Coast Guard Band had dual commitments for part of this. All but the dress rehearsal conflicted with the CG Academy commencement, for which they insist on having the band. So I went to D.C. myself and "stood in" for the group, making notes of all moves and considerations so I could update the rest of the group when they showed up for dress rehearsal.

    In addition to the star-studded cast, a few of the rehearsals included the band's march-on and then went right into "Wonder Woman" Lynda Carter's first song. Her starting position was a few feet from me, so we chatted a bit while we were waiting around. She's a nice lady! Attached is the top part of the schedule page she autographed for me.

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    And here is a few minutes of the opening sequence, including the bands and Lynda's first song (we are the last group to enter, from above the stage, and you'll notice I'm using my Besson baritone horn):
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #2
    One of the highlights of my military bandsman days was sharing the stage with a top-notch Soviet military band. German reunification was under way and we occasionally performed together, and even visited some of their rather spartan barracks.

    As musicians, those guys can wail.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  3. #3
    It’s been awhile since anyone posted on this thread, but I am new and going through a lot of the threads to catch up!

    One of my “cool moments” was when the Marine Band in Albany, Georgia went to play the changing of the guard in Quebec. According to the band up there, we were the first foreign band in history to play for them! We had to have a translator Drum Major that would tell our DM what was going on! We would always be a second late to play because of the delay in translation but it was still a blast!
    “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” -Robert Hughes


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