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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

I Love a Parade!

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For years growing up in Montreal, May 1st was the province-wide starting date for leases, making May 1st moving day in the province of Québec. In the 1970’s, this date moved three months to the right and (in what some would argue was an affront to Canadian patriotism) that date moved to July 1st (Canada Day, a week to the day after June 24th, Québec’s Fête Nationale, the date Quebecketrs traditionally celebrate as their national holiday).

One of my best friends was born on May 1st, and we routinely called him “the mover’s son”. There you go – Bonne fete, Denis!

But for many in Europe, May 1st is May Day, Europe’s equivalent of Labour Day I suppose. It was also used by some communist countries as a day to celebrate “the common man”, the worker, and there were (and probably still are) massive parades everywhere.

Russian May Day Parade HD

It is in that vein that I propose that we look at “parade music”, marches of all kinds, as a theme for today. The selections and video clips I chose present not only marching bands, but also “concert marches” from opera and the concert hall in general. It is in that vein that I programmed Berlioz’s Racoczy March, Verdi’s Grand March from Aida and John Ireland’s Epic March.

From film, I chose Meredith Willson’s 76 Trombones from his musical The Music Man (the Robert Preston original, not the Matthew Broderick cheesy Made-for-TV-and-DVD remake), and a pair of noteworthy film marches by John Williams: his memorable Imperial March from the Star Wars saga, and his unforgettable march from one of Steven Spielberg’s few forgettable movies 1941 (Yes, for every Schindler’s List there is an Ishtar, Mr. Spielberg!)

“Dotting the I” is an irresistible marching band formation that is the trademark of the Ohio State Marching Band, a formation first developed by Band director Eugene Weigel in 1936. The tradition, started by trumpeter John Brungart is reserved for a senior (fourth year) Sousaphone player. According the the OSU Marching Band website:

To be eligible to dot the "i", a sousaphone player must at least be a fourth-year member of the OSUMB. Since more than one person usually meets this requirement, the sousaphone player who has marched the most pre-game ramps is given the first choice of which script he/she wishes to dot. This is picked from the scheduled performances of Script Ohio for the upcoming season. This process continues until all fourth-year members have chosen a dot.
According to the website, the honour is sometimes bestowed on a “special guest” - Honorary "i"-dotters with the OSU Marching Band include: Bob Hope, legendary OSU football coach Woody Hayes, golf legend Jack Nicklaus, Heavyweight Champion Buster Douglas and astronaut and longtime Ohio senator John Glenn.

Of course, no march program is complete without the obligatory Sousa marches. In addition to the Liberty Bell, you can visit a past PTB featuring the USAF Heroitage of America Band for some more favourites!


Harold ARLEN (1905–1986)
I Love a Parade (1931)
Lawrence Welk Orchestra and Singers

Meredith WILLSON (1902 – 1984)
"Seventy-Six Trombones" from The Music Man (1957)
From the 1962 film

John WILLIAMS (*1932)
The March from "1941" (1979)
Original Film Soundtrack

"Imperial March" from Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
John Williams conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

Richard RODGERS (1902 –1979)
Robert Russell BENNETT (1894 – 1981)

"The Guadalcanal March" from Victory at Sea (1952)
Robert Russell Bennett conducts the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

Julius FUCIK (1872 – 1916)
Vjezd gladiátorů (Entry Of The Gladiators), op. 68
Uncredited performance

John IRELAND (1879-1962)
Epic March (1942)
Richard Hickox conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
"Racoczy March" from La damnation de Faust, Op. 24
Arthur Fiedler conducts the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
"March of the Dwarfs" from Lyric Suite (orchestration of Op.54)
Sir Malcolm Sargent conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Act II, Scene 2 from Aida (1871) "The Grand March"
(Occupies the first 11:45 of the clip - clip includes remainder of the scene)
Arturo Toscanini conducts the NBC Symphony and Robert Shaw Chorale

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Marche Slave in B-flat minor, Op. 31 (Slavonic March)
Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic

Carl Michael ZIEHRER (1843 - 1922)
Schönfeld-Marsch, op. 422
Uncredited performance

Johann Strauss I (1804 - 1849)
Wiener Stadt-Garde Marsch, Op. 246 (orchestrated by John Georgiadis)
John Georgiadis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932)
The Liberty Bell March (1893)
Uncredited performance

Robert Sherwood HAGGART(1914 -1998)
Raymond BAUDUC (1909 -1988)

South Rampart Street Parade (1939)
The Lawrence Welk Orchestra featuring Johnny Klein at the drums

May 4th, 2012, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will be adding a new montage "Musikalische Akademie der 7. Mai 1824" to its Pod-O-Matic Podcast. Read our English and French commentary May 4th on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.

Updated May-01-2012 at 10:51 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music