Brass, Reeds, and Percussion

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion is WLRH’s longest running program, started in 1976 by musician Darryl Adams,  and as the name suggests—is a program about music for the wind band (as opposed to the orchestra).  The program, hosted by John Hightower, features music composed for the instruments of the typical American high school band or the typical American military band. Brass, Reeds and Percussion also provides information about local wind-band performances, players, and history.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion airs every Saturday at 1 p.m. Follow Brass, Reeds and Percussion on Facebook.


Darryl G. Adams, March 30, 1939 - October 18, 2011

Darryl Adams originated Brass, Reeds, and Percussion and used this hourly program to share a love of John Phillips Sousa marches, wind-band peformances, and seasonal celebrations.  (His St. Patrick's Day episode was always a hit.) He hosted the program from 1976 until his death 2011. WLRH's earliest roots thrive thanks to Darryl sharing his energy and talents with our Tennessee Valley listening community. Darryl was a rare champion for music who helped start one of WLRH's greatest traditions. We'll always be proud to have his association.

Local Wind Bands

Twickenham Winds

Brass Band of Huntsville

Rocket City Jazz Orchestra

Old Towne Brass

Huntsville Concert Band

Madison Community Band

Shoals Community Concert Band

The Rocketeers Drum and Bugle Corps


Local College Bands:

Alabama A&M University Band

University of Alabama in Huntsville Wind Ensemble

University of North Alabama Bands


High School Bands and Orchestras 

Bob Jones High School Band

Grissom High School Band

Huntsville High School Band

Meridianville Middle School Band

Hazel Green High School Band

Johnson High School Band

James Clemons High School Band

Austin High School Band

Sparkman High School Band

Lee High School Band

Buckhorn High School Band

Madison County High School Band

New Hope High School Band


Wind Bands of the U.S. Armed Services

West Point Band

Others to be added soon.



If your musical organization is not listed on our page, please send contact information to John Hightower at [email protected]

To arrange to have your event announced on BRP, e-mail John Hightower at [email protected] or you can submit your non-profit event to our website. To arrange for a public service announcement to run throughout WLRH’s broadcast day, please submit your request on the WLRH PSA program page. 

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 21, 2022

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Spanish violinst Enric Madriguera was born in 1902. He studied at the Barcelona Conservatory. In his early 20s, he immigrated to the United States and soon became the concert master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He then became the conductor of the Cuban Philharmonic Orchestra. He became known as the ambassador of music to all the Americas. When he performed for radio shows, his band was billed as Enric Madriguera and His Music of the Americas.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 14, 2022

Saturday, May 14, 2022

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, wind bands held a position somewhat similar to late 20th century rock and roll bands. They conveyed popular music to the population at large, and they went on tours. They were competitive and even charged high prices for concert tickets. No doubt, John Philip Sousa's band was probably the most famous and most popular, but an Italian named Guiseppe Creatore lead a competitive band. Born in Naples, Italy, in 1871, Creatore was a trombonist and a very colorful conductor.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 7, 2022

Saturday, May 7, 2022

For the past several weeks, Reeds, and Percussion has been sharing marches composed by Karl L. King, the great circus band conductor and composer. Today’s edition opens with King’s march entitled “The Goldman Band March,” composed in 1930. During the early part of the 20th century, John Philip Sousa’s professional wind band was a number-one musical attraction.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 30, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Janissaries were members of elite infantry units of the Ottoman Empire. Starting in the 1300s, the Ottomans kidnapped little boys in conquered areas: Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, and Serbia. The Ottomans circumcised the boys, converted them to Islam, and incorporated them into Ottoman army where they were subjected to strict discipline. The Janissaries eventually became influential and powerful within the Ottoman government. During the 1700s, they were corrupted and eventually abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 23, 2022

Saturday, April 23, 2022

During April, Brass, Reeds, and Percussion has been airing Janissary music. Today's edition open with the Military Band of the Old Turkish Army, a 700-year-old military band, playing "Military March." If you were at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, you might have heard the Ottoman Muslim's marching toward the city with 1,000 band members playing this march.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 9, 2022

Saturday, April 9, 2022

We’ve been airing Janissary music on Brass, Reeds, and Percussion. Today’s edition opens with the Military Band of the Old Turkish Army, a 700-year-old unit, playing the “Jihadi March.” If you were at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, you might have heard the Ottoman Muslim’s marching toward the city with 1,000 band members playing this march. In 1740, after the Polish King added the Janissary instruments to his military bands, other European military bands followed suit.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 2, 2022

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Today's edition features Janissary music composed by Francesco Antonio Rosetti. He lived from 1750 to 1792 and was a classical era composer and double bass player. He was a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart. Born in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, Rosetti’s original name was Franz Anton Rösler. He adopted an Italian name to better market his over 400 compositions. Just like Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, Rosetti wrote Janissary music.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 26, 2022

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Born in Paintersville, Ohio, in 1891, Karl L. King was a self-taught composer and son of a salesman-father who played the tuba in the town band. When his family moved to Canton, Ohio, he received his formal musical training. It consisted of four piano lessons and one lesson in harmony from the director of a traveling music show. He sold newspapers to pay for his first cornet and later joined the Canton Boy’s Band as a trombonist.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 19, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022

This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features music from the operas of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Rimsky-Korsakov is famous for his orchestral and wind-band works, especially such compositions as "Capriccio Espagnol," "The Russian Easter Festival Overture," and "Scheherazade." But he also composed 15 operas. Today we will hear “The Song of India” from the 1898 operas Sadko. Then we’ll here the Prelude and Polonaise from the 1895 opera The Night Before Christmas.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 12, 2022

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Born in Japan in 1986, Naoya Wada is an an internationally recognized wind-band composer. He has been commissioned numerous times to write for band, ensembles, and radio programs, and often works as a guest conductor and clinician. He is one of the few Japanese composers making significant contributions to educational band music. His works for concert band, string orchestra, and small ensembles have been performed, published, and recorded worldwide by groups ranging from elementary to the professional level.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 5, 2022

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Today’s edition begins with two tunes witten in 1909 and 1910 by Leo Friedman with lyrics by Beth Slater Wilson who lived in nearby Nashville, Tennessee. The first tune—"Let Me Call You Sweetheart"—was popular in the early 1900s, but is has been heard on at least six television shows during the early 21st century as well.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 26, 2022 (Black History Month and Mardi Gras)

Saturday, February 26, 2022

This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion celebrates both Black History Month and Mardi Gras. All the music you heard on this edition was composed by African-American musicians, most born in New Orleans. All the music you will hear on today’s program was performed by African-American musicians, most born in New Orleans. Starting in roughly 1860, wind instruments of all types began to be made in factories, thereby making them inexpensive.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 19, 2022

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Today's edition features the music of Siegfried Rundel, born in Bussmannshausen, Germany, in 1940. Bussmannshausen, is located about halfway between Munich and Suttgart and close to Austrian border to the south. Rundel played the trombone in the community band and started composing and arranging as a teenager. By the age of 21, he was the director of several small-town German bands. This experience made him realize that there was not much good and playable music for amateur bands in rural areas.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 12, 2022

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Many of our Western European percussion instruments are derived from the Turkish wind band called a mehteran. The influence of Turkish instruments on Western music is thought to date to the 1683 siege of Vienna when the Ottoman Turks attempted to capture the city. The Ottomans had Janissary or mehteran bands to accompany their troops.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 5, 2022

Saturday, February 5, 2022

This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion showcases percussion with two exotic recordings from 1959 and 1960. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, a genre of music developed called exotica, lounge music, or space-age pop. Arrangements were made of standards that can be described as exotic. In some cases, "campy" is a better term. Both recordings are a tour de force for percussion.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 29, 2022

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Raymond Scott is a obscure composer whose music is probably familiar and recognizable to many people—because people have heard his music in the most unlikely of venues: cartoons. Scott was born in 1908 and was a 1931 graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. Although he didn’t deliberately write music for cartoons, his music was adapted for use in 120 Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and other Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 22, 2022

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Music by Italian composers is featured in this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion. Today's today's edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion begins with one of those creative arrangements from the late 1950s of a song that Edith Piaf made a big hit: "La Vie En Rose." Sam Butera and the Witnesses perform the arrangement. Butera was a saxophone player of Italian descent and born in New Orleans in 1915.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 15, 2021

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Wind-band arrangements of rock music can frequently reveal unnoticed elements of the music. You may have that experience when you hear a wind-band medley of music from the English rock band Deep Purple, formed in London in 1968. The band was pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 8, 2022

Saturday, January 8, 2022

This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features a wind-band transcription of music from Beethoven's only opera: Fidelio. In fact, Beethoven blessed and endorsed the arrangement.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion, January 1, 2022

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Normally, Brass, Reeds, and Percussion takes a trip to the cha cha palace for new year’s eve, but since today is new year’s day and a Saturday, we’re taking our annual trip to the cha cha palace this afternoon. And we’re going to start with a klezmer-influenced dance tune that was also a popular hit in 1920: "Lena from Palesteena." It was recorded and performed by the Original Dixieland Jass [how "jazz" was spelled circa 1920] Band, a group from New Orleans.




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