Skip to comments.1st Brigade Band tunes up for new generation
Posted on 05/03/2012 6:23:52 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Watertown - Back when "The Star Spangled Banner" was simply a patriotic song, when community bands marched off to war together and drummer boys died on battlefields still clutching their drumsticks, a group of young men from a small Wisconsin town played the soundtrack of the Civil War.
They left behind no recordings. But their music can still be heard.
Through the efforts of another hearty band, the tradition of young musicians whose patriotic fervor spurred them to join the Union Army and leave behind their families continues in Wisconsin.
The 1st Brigade Band is a group of around 100 musicians and history buffs who play Civil War era instruments and music, dressed in reproduction military band uniforms. Through painstaking work over several decades, the Watertown-based group has amassed an impressive collection of horns and drums dating to the Civil War, which band members use to play carefully reproduced arrangements of songs familiar to both Confederate and Union soldiers.
Why go to all the trouble?
"It's seeing the light of our history come alive in the eyes and ears of the audience. These instruments are all Civil War veterans. They don't course blood, but they all speak," said Ed Pierce, a horn player and the group's historian.
Members of the 1st Brigade Band consider themselves historians, not Civil War re-enactors. You won't see them camped out in pup tents, eating hardtack and drinking chicory at re-enactments.
(Excerpt) Read more at jsonline.com ...
Bill Edington (right) of Watertown practices with his E-flat alto horn before the concert starts, as does Jim Hoyt of Madison with his E-flat tuba.
Video at source. It is worth reading the whole article. Very interesting.
Not eactly classical music ping — certainly historic music and instruments.
Harold Schauer of Rib Falls plays his upright E-flat cornet at the 1st Brigade Band's " A Program of Stirring 1860s Brass Band Music & Living History" at the Watertown High School auditorium
Jim Hoyt of Madison warms up with his E-flat tuba prior to the concert. This type of tuba has the bell facing to the rear so the troops marching behind the band could hear the music.
Wisconsin 1st Brigade Band ping
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
I’m pinging you all to this interesting article to show that Wisconsin is more than endless recalls. It’s fascinating to see who is attracted to this troupe: musicians, historians, engineers, re-enactors, etc.
While the photo hints at some of their exotic instruments, many of them are very exotic, indeed. Around the time of the Civil War, innovation in instruments was in full swing, there was a multitude of bands and orchestras, and a lot of effort was put in making a unique and interesting sound.
Out of the hundreds of new instruments, only a handful of the most popular kinds survived. The 1st Brigade has gone to a lot of effort to recreate a bunch of them.
I thought it was especially interesting about the direction of the bells on the brasses so that the troops marching behind the band could hear the music better.
I remember being a big fan of the marching bands in HS and college that did all the fancy figures and steps on the football field during half time. Then one day C Berkeley played Air Force and the AF Band stepped onto our field.
They marched in close formation and the sound was unbelievable for a small (compared to the Golden Bears) band. It just filled the stadium — no fancy tricks, just really good music.
I like the Golden Bear band because it continues to play traditional football songs and marches, unlike so many others that have abandoned traditional music for the rock charts.
FYI..one of my favorite movies is "The Horse Soldiers"..the John Ford epic of the Civil War..about a Union raid into the deep south. Ford always used music in his films ( i.e. "She wore a Yellow Ribbon" and in THe Horse Soldiers, he used authentic instruments and arrangements...There is one scene, where the very young cadets from the military academy are marching off to attack the Union troops, you can here the unique "sound"...it's very special...
Some good music of the era about Irish immigrants who fought on both sided of the Civil War
We Will Fight for Uncle Sam(Union)
Irish who fought for the South:
Glad to hear the Golden Bears still keep some traditions. The were always a good band, but when the Alameda Naval Air Station Band showed up and marched in close formation (I said AF before, but it was the Alameda Naval Air Station) they just blew them away. By marching almost elbow to elbow, they magnified the sound. All the other bands (including the highly vauted Golden Bears) dissipated the sound by marching all over the field in fancy patterns. The fancy steps took precedence over the sound.
The worst band I ever heard at the UC Memorial stadium was in 2000 at the Stanford/UC game. The Stanford Cardinals were simply disgusting. Instead of uniforms, they dressed in costumes according to what they wanted to be. A bunch of them were dressed like doctors in scrubs and they were chasing “nurses” in very short skirts all over the field. There even was one student dressed like a tree. There was no organization, no discipline, and very bad music. Thumbs down on Stanford! (Of course I would have said that anyway.)
I never saw that film. I’ll have to look for it.
I'm a USC fan, and having attended most home games and quite a few away games since 1973, I'm quite familiar with the Stanford band. They used to have a pretty good repertoire, including March Grandioso and The New Colonial March, which they used as their theme song. However, today, they use All Right, Now, a rock tune. And they don't do a good job at playing anything.
The Trojan Marching Band often tries to insult the Stanford band during halftime, especially when we play them in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. On one occasion, the Trojan musicians re-enacted The Play, the final play of the 1982 Big Game in which Cal returned a Stanford kick for the winning touchdown, running through the Stanford band that stood in front of the end zone, thinking the game was over. Our bandsmen dressed in authentic Stanford and Cal uniforms, while others dressed as the Stanford band and stood in front of the endzone. And their re-enactment of The Play was perfect.
Ooh, was the real Stanford band mad! When they saw what our guys were doing, they rushed onto the field, and I thought they might attack the USC band, but they apparently thought better of it--after all, they were outnumbered about 2:1--and merely scampered across the field.
Oh, I just LOVE it! That play where the Stanford Band lost the game to the Golden Bears is just a classic. For a short while my husband and I belonged to a UC Alumni Assn. in Houston, TX. They used to play a video of that play at every meeting. Of course it was a winner every time. We live in Wisconsin now, so no videos. Thank you, thank you USC for re-creating a memorable moment.
Back to Stanford. They are just copying the Rice University Marching Owl Band (the MOB) with their sassy performances. Because Rice considers themselves above all that rah, rah junk, their band has no uniforms and people just show up to play — very disorganized.
One game back in the 1970s, members of the MOB cheer squad dared to step on some sacrosanct section of the field at the College Station stadium when they were playing Texas A & M. THey have a tradition of their cadets standing at attention throughhout the whole game. The Rice cheer leader put his foot down in the wrong place and one of the A & M ROTC cadets pulled his ceremonial sword and held the poor kid at sword point until the authorities called a halt. It was pretty funny.
I’ve forgotten what the penalty was, but it was a big one. Texans argued about that for years.
Nice links. I really enjoyed those. My great grandfather was an Irishman who came from County Clare, joined the Union Army and was stationed in San Jose for the duration of the War.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.