Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

24 November 2013

My Favorite March(es)

One of my regular reads, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, posted today on his favorite hymn, from the corpus of Methodist powerhouse Charles Wesley. As a longtime church organist (including three years for the United Methodists in St. Clair!) I am quite familiar with Wesley's contributions.

As a longtime trumpet player, I am also familiar with the corpus of John Philip Sousa, "The March King" who died in Reading, PA after conducting a practice session with The Ringgold Band, one of the oldest continuous marching and concert units in these United States.

Just today a woman approached me after Mass to tell me about the "Ringgold New Horizons Band," for senior citizens returning to their instruments. Perhaps, she suggested, we'd like to have them play a concert at the church someday. Although I can't speak for everyone in the parish, would we!! And perhaps I'd like to sit in with them. And with the main group, too.

Since 1991 I've been honored to play trumpet with the Cressona Band. Until about seven years ago I played for most of the summer concerts and occasionally with their stage unit; nowadays I'm happy to join them for a parade and a few concerts. I don't get to practice with the band, but they let me slide because I can sight-read well enough and have played many of these songs over the years. I have many good friends among the fine musicians in Cressona (and in Pottsville's Third Brigade Band, with whom I played for several years, alongside many of the same musicians). A good number of them are current or former educators who are very much responsible for the quality of music programs in Schuylkill County.

Anyhow, since Fr. Longenecker posted a favorite hymn, allow me to post a favorite march. First, I must decide on one...
I have, wait--
Well, since you understand about indecision, you don't mind that I chose two. But there are more, and I won't bore you with them, because you'll probably stop listening. But I do enjoy Sousa--listening as well as playing (except the 2nd and 3rd parts, which pretty much double the french horns with the rhythmic background).

If I haven't told you lately, patient reader: thanks for listening, and for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Oh it's hard to come up wth a favorite Sousa march since he wrote so many really good ones. I admit to a special fondness for Hands Across the Sea.