Stars and Stripes Fourever
As I keep working on trying to (hopefully) get the Grant Park Orchestra videos in shape for the Fourth of July, we'll fill in the gap with a version of "Stars and Stripes Forever" that I posted a few years back which I particularly like, coming from a performer and group who's not well-known these days.
That would be conductor Keith Brion, a musician and musical scholar, who formed what he called the New Sousa Band perhaps 30 years ago or so. Brion had done a great deal of research about John Philip Sousa and wanted to sort of re-constitute the arrangements and performances that Sousa himself had put on at the time.
Brion would make himself up in a sort-of Sousa way, and have the members of his band is proper Sousa Band attire, and did his best to throw in a bit of the showmanship that Sousa included in his own concerts. (Notably, for his most famous song, he would not only have the piccolo players stand in place for their solo, but had them march down front-and-center -- and the same with the brass for the finale.) But it's the arrangements that leap out. Brion said that the problem with most later-day arrangements of Sousa's music is that it was forgotten that they were military marches -- and written to be performed by a band actually marching. So, there is a proper briskness to his version, not something sped through, recreating that style. Plus the arrangements themselves are crisp and lively.
So, here then is Keith Brion and the New Sousa Band with...oh, you know.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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