Band Music

When I was in band back in high school, every year Mrs. Johnson (our band director) got promotional packages from the big music publishing companies. These packages included recordings of bands playing the musical pieces that the publishing company wanted to sell for the following marching season. Mrs. Johnson would leave the recordings out near the band room sound system so that the members in their spare time could listen and give her ideas for what music to choose.

I LOVED those recordings. Most of them were pretty obviously done by professional wind bands in studios, and I developed a bit of an affinity for the style of music that authors usually wrote for marching band. I would often bring in a cassette and record some of the songs just to listen to later.

I miss having access to that. Back in band, our copies of the recordings were always on LP (we didn’t have a CD player in the band room), but I imagine that they were distributed on CD as well. I would do a LOT to get my hands on some of those demo CDs. I would especially love to have copies of the recordings of some of the original pieces I heard back then, some of them we played, some we didn’t. A few of the favorite titles were “Power Station”, “Wings”, and a western-themed one we didn’t play that I can’t remember the title for (but can still hear clearly in my head). In addition, though, I’d love to have access to the new stuff every year just to listen to.

I’ve looked around a little bit before, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest in distributing these recordings just for listening. It’s probably because of licensing and such. I wish I could get my hands on them, though. I’ve found short snippets as sound files on publishers’ web sites (usually with annoying beeps in the middle), but never full-length songs.

*chuckle* Sometimes, I think I need to find one of the large local high school bands and start showing up in the stands at football game half-time performances during the fall just to listen. I would probably get labeled as the creepy stranger that no one knows, though.

I know! We just need to get Eli (and other friends’ kids once they have them) involved in band. Then I can tag along and not look creepy. 😉

6 thoughts on “Band Music

  1. I’ve got a Jalen Publishing promotional CD from when I was in the Ole Miss Band. We recorded a song or two that was on there, I think. You’re more than welcome to look at it. Can’t remember what all is on there.

  2. When I was in marching band, I couldn’t afford to purchase the video of our Atlantic Coast Championship entry. Several years ago, I tried contacting TOB to see if they had archived copies, but the company who did the recording had gone out of business! So I really ought to give a call to my old high school and see if the 19..um, 87? video is still kicking around the vaults, bc I too would give a lot to see and hear that again.

    Wanna come hear some drums and bugles?

  3. Joyous:
    Ooh. That’s SO tempting. I’ve never been to a DCI event, but I used to watch the World Championships on PBS every year. I came this close to being able to go to the World Championships in Jackson, MS in ‘93. My new college roommate had a connection with tickets. If we hadn’t been moving into our dorm room that very day, I would have gone.

    I have to say that I don’t relish the idea of yet another drive to Atlanta, but that’s pretty high on the list of things likely to make me do it. 🙂 I’ll think about it.

  4. […] So, my rambling about band music yesterday really got my mind on old songs. So, I decided to put that together with a cool toy I’ve played with before: some free music typesetting software called LilyPond. Here’s a snippet of the 1st trumpet part (my part) from a song I know we played. The promotional recording is still so firmly in my head that I can hear the place in the song where some scratches in the LP affected the sound. I cannot remember the name of the song, though. […]

  5. I’m sure that since I married a band nerd and hang out with band nerds that my son will eventually become a band nerd. I’ll let you know when marching season starts.

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