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: March 6, 2021

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Janissaries were elite soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, a military unit probably established during the 1300s. A young Christian boy usually became a Janissary when the Turks abducted him from the Balkans and converted him to Islam. Western Europe became aware of the Janissary military bands during the 1683 Battle of Vienna. These bands had powerful percussion and shrill winds.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 27, 2021

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Henry Fillmore was such a prolific composer that he used several different pseudonyms. This made his father’s publishing house in Cincinnati look like it had more composers than it actually did, a tactic that was apparently used to increase sales.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 20, 2021

Saturday, February 20, 2021

When Naser al-Din, the shah of Iran, visited Vienna in 1873 for the Vienna World’s Fair, the military band selected to honor the shah upon his arrival for the state visit could not acquire a copy of the Iranian national anthem. So they played the "Persian March" by Johann Strauss, Jr. This was a good substitute since its composer had dedicated the march to the shah when he wrote it.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 13, 2021 (Mardi Gras edition)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

In recognition of Black History Month and to celebrate Mardi Gras, you’ll hear performances by Bunk Johnson and Sidney Bechet on today’s edition of Brass Reeds as we go way down yonder in New Orleans. Before there was Louis Armstrong or King Oliver, the hot trumpet player was Bunk Johnson, the King of the Blues. Before there was Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw, the hot clarinet player was Sidney Bechet.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: February 6, 2021

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Francois Boieldeu is sometimes called the French Mozart. He lived from 1775 to 1834 and mostly composed operas. Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features the overture from his first big hit: The Caliph of Baghdad. It’s a comic opera that involves the caliph going about Baghdad in disguise. While in disguise, he rescues and falls in love with Zétulbé and wants to marry her. But Zétulbé’s mother won’t consent to the marriage.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 30, 2021

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Pál Kinizsi lived from 1432 to 1494 and was a Hungarian general serving under king Matthias Corvinus. Starting out as a son of a miller, he became a count in what is now part of Romania and Serbia. He commanded King Mathias' famed Black Army when it defeated the Ottomans in the Battle of Breadfield in October 1479. He reputedly never lost a battle. Wielding two swords when he fought, he is often referred to as the Hungarian Hercules. Julius Fucik, the Czech march king, dedicated a march to this Hungarian folk hero.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 23, 2021

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The mellophone is an alto horn, pitched between the cornet and the tenor trombone. It's somewhat similar to the flugelhorn, which is pitched in B flat, whereas the mellophone is pitched in E-flat and therefore sounds a bit lower than the flugelhorn. The mellophone has a conical bore just like the cornet.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 16, 2021 (Opera for Band)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Arrangements of orchestral works for wind band are more commonly known as transcriptions. So this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features wind-band arrangements—or transcriptions—of opera music. The practice of arranging orchestral music for wind band began as early as 1775 when opera music was arranged for the harmonie, most typically an octet of two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 9, 2021 (Opera for Band)

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Arrangements of orchestral works for wind band are more commonly known as transcriptions. So this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features wind-band arrangements—or transcriptions—of opera music. The practice of arranging orchestral music for wind band began as early as 1775 when opera music was arranged for the harmonie, most typically an octet of two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: January 2, 2021 (Bach for Band)

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Making arrangements of the works of Johan Sebastian Bach has a long history. Both Mozart and Beethoven made arrangements of Bach’s works. In the 1930s, Leopold Stokowski popularized Bach by arranging his compositions for orchestra. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are numerous wind-band transcriptions of Bach works. In truth, if you’re not going to play a Bach organ composition on the organ, the next best thing is probably to have a band play it.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: December 26, 2020

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Henk van Lijnschooten composed "Chorale and Rockout" in 1973. Since that time, it’s become one of the most popular and widely played wind-band compositions in all of Europe. Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features that composition. Van Lijnschooten was born in the Hague in 1928 and attended the local music school for lessons in violin and clarinet. He also attended the Hague Royal Conservatory.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion, December 19, 2020 (Christmas Music You've Probably Never Heard Before)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

A personal note from John Hightower: Back when I was in college and worked in commercial top-40 radio, I worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for 6 straight years. When it comes to traditional Christmas music, I’ve just about heard every recording of Christmas music by every popular artist there is. So I hope you won’t be disappointed with today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion because it will be Christmas music that you’ve probably never heard before.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: December 12, 2020 (Hanukkah)

Saturday, December 12, 2020

This year, Hanukkah began on Thursday, December 10, at sundown. In recognition of Hanukkah, today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion feature some Hanukkah music performed by what’s called a fluid jazz band from New Orleans. Led by Ben Schenck, it's named the Panorama Jazz Band. The tuba is played by Mark Rubin, Jew of Oklahoma. The band combines klezmer, jazz, and Dixieland music, but their repertoire is not limited to klezmer.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: December 5, 2020

Saturday, December 5, 2020

In 1870, Philip Egner was born to German immigrant parents in New York City. He began to study the violin at age 6, but later switched to cello. When the Spanish-American War broke out, he joined the army and was made bandmaster of the 17th Infantry Regiment. After spending the war in the Philippines, he returned to New York and eventually became the bandmaster of the West Point Army Band, which is composed to enlisted army musicians, not cadets.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: November 28, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion is a radio program that champions wind-band music. Although Sousa marches are often the first thing people think of when they hear wind-band music mentioned, there was a period when most popular music in America was wind-band music. So that's why today's edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion opens with a 1926 recording of Sophie Tucker singing "Some of These Days." Most of the instruments used in this recording are wind-band instruments. But there appears to be a single violin also involved.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: November 21, 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Estonian wind band music is featured on this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion. Eduard Tamm is a composer from the Baltic country of Estonia and lived from 1879 to 1941. As a child, he studied violin and cornet. He became a cadet in the 92nd Infantry Regiment and then went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he became a French hornist and earned a position in the Russian Imperial Orchestra. After the Russian October Revolution in 1917, he conducted the St. Petersburg Militia Band. He is credited with writing the first march by an Estonian.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: November 14, 2020

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion opens with “Opening Ceremony,” composed by Richard Phillips, a British composer, conductor, pianist, and trumpeter born in 1962. Phillips first encountered music playing trumpet in the local brass band of the Salvation Army. After studying at the Royal College, he was much in demand as a pianist. Since that time, he has conducted three Salvation Army bands and currently works as a music teacher at Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, one of the largest music academies in England.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: November 7, 2020

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Today's edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features a wind-band arrangment of "Till Eulenspiegel" composed by Richard Strauss. In 1895, Richard Strauss wrote a tone poem that tells the story of a traditional German literary character dating back to 1510. In the original book, Till Eulenspiegel travels about the Holy Roman Empire during the 1300s, playing practical jokes and exposing vices at every turn. In the book, he dies from the plague.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: October 31, 2020 (Halloween)

Saturday, October 31, 2020

To celebrate Halloween, this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features creepy music—music that has something to do with monsters or evil or frightening things, music with perhaps a tone of the foreboding. For monster music, we’ll hear a performance of “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” by Eric Whitaker. But we’ll open from “Nightmare” from the music and dance production called “The Lord of the Dance,” which follows the the Lord of the Dance in a fight against the evil dark lord Don Dorcha.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: October 24, 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Frank Watz is a Romanian composer born in 1949. His music is published by the prestigious Rundel music publishing house of Austria. He attended Cluj University in Transylvania. Yes, that really is part of Romania. His family taught him how to play the flugelhorn and accordian. In high school\s, he played clarinet and piano. At university, he played the tuba.

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