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: July 31, 2021

Saturday, July 31, 2021

It’s difficult to find a musical composition that deals with sickness, but maybe “Fever” qualifies. We’ll open today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion with a 1960 recording of “Fever” in recognition of our special guest today: Dr. Pam Hudson, CEO of Crestwood Hospital. She’ll be talking with us about COVID-19 and vaccinations.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: July 24, 2021

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Astor Piazolla lived from 1921 to 1992. He was born in Argentina, but grew up in New York City. Considered by some to the foremost composer of tango, he is given credit for revolutionizing the tango by fusing it with modern jazz. Piazolla’s primary instrument was the bandoneon, an instrument similar to the concentina.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: July 17, 2021

Saturday, July 17, 2021

"Goin' Out of My Head" is a song written by Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein, initially recorded by Little Anthony and the Imperials in 1964. That year, their version reached number 6 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Since that point, it’s been covered by a number of other artists including the Zombies and Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. As part of a medley, the Letterman’s version reached number 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1967.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: July 10, 2021

Saturday, July 10, 2021

“Horsefeathers” is not just a minced swearword, but it’s also the name of a fun piece of music composed by Clifton Luther Jackson, an American stride pianist who lived from 1902 to 1970. Jackson moved to New York City in 1923 and played with various groups. He led his own ensemble, the Krazy Kats, for recordings from 1930 to about 1940. Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features two of his compositions from this period performed by the Red Rose Ragtime Band from Chicago.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: June 26, 2021

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Known as the French Mozart, François-Adrien Boieldieu lived from 1775 to 1834. He is mostly famous for his operas. He was born in Rouen, where he wrote his first works. During the Reign of Terror, Rouen was of the few French cities to maintain its musical life. During the revolutionary period, he went to Paris and worked as a piano tuner until he had his first big hit in 1800: The Caliph of Bagdad. Today's edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features three wind-band arrangements to the overtures of three of Boieldieu’s operas.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: June 19, 2021

Saturday, June 19, 2021

In 1893, Hans Schmid was born in Moravia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now part of the Czech Republic. At age 10, he began playing both strings and wind instruments in his father’s dance band. His primary wind instrument appears to have been the bass flugelhorn. But eventually he became a composer with over 250 works. At age 15, he became a member of an Austro-Hungarian Army Band.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: June 12, 2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021

This edition features music from the 1950s. Today's episode opens with recordings of Ray Anthony and His Orchestra. Anthony was born in 1922 and was a trumpeter, big-band leader, songwriter, and even an actor. During WW II, he joined the Navy and played in Glenn Miller's military big band. During the 1950s, he appeared in several movies, including one in which he portrayed Jimmy Dorsey. One of his biggest hits was his 1953 recording of the "Dragnet" theme, originally composed for a radio show.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 22, 2021

Saturday, May 22, 2021

This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion provides a perspetive on 400 years of wind-band history, starting with the Baroque period and ending with the 21 century. This episode begins with music from Georg Telemann’s Concerto 5 in D Major for two oboes d’amore, two horns, two bassoons, and harpsichord.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 15, 2021

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Considered by some to the successor to John Philip Sousa, Edwin Franko Goldman was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on New Year’s Day, 1878. When his father died, Edwin, his mother, and his siblings moved to New York City, where the family had musical connections. Edwin’s grandfather was a professional classical pianist. Edwin started taking trumpet lessons when he was 9 years old and eventually played in the Metropolitan Opera’s orchestra with his uncle, the concert master.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 15, 2021

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Considered by some to the successor to John Philip Sousa, Edwin Franko Goldman was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on New Year’s Day, 1878. When his father died, Edwin, his mother, and his siblings moved to New York City, where the family had musical connections. Edwin’s grandfather was a professional classical pianist. Edwin started taking trumpet lessons when he was 9 years old and eventually played in the Metropolitan Opera’s orchestra with his uncle, the concert master.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 8, 2021

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion is designed to help ua listeners become kool cats by listening to bongo music from the 1960s. During the late 1950s, bongos became popular because almost anyone could play them. They were also widely used in popular music. So today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion will feature a number of 1960s recordings.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: May 1, 2021

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Lawrence Welk had a big hit during 1961: “Calcutta,” composed by the German Heino Gaze. Gaze mostly composed for films. “Calcutta” was the most successful of all of Lawrence Welk’s recordings, being in the number-one position for 2 weeks and staying on the chart for 3 months. The tune even made it to number-10 on the rhythm-and-blues chart. At the time, Welk was the oldest person to ever have a number-one hit. Today’s version of the song is not the original hit, but rather a wind-band arrangement by Si Zentner.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 24, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Sometimes, wind band music is popular music—a fact demonstrated during this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion when we hear a 1961 top-10 hit that was described as the first big-band record you could twist to. “Up a Lazy River” was written in 1930, but it became a top-10 hit in 1961 when a version by Si Zenter and His Orchestra made it to the Billboard Top 100. The tune and most of the words were written by Sidney Arodin, born in Westwego, Lousiana. (That’s across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.) He was a clarinetist and songwriter.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 17, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021
  1. South Rampart Street Parade (1937 recording, misidentified as "High Society" on air)
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  2. Wonderland by Night
    Composer:  Klaus Günter Neumann (1925-1990)

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 10, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

In 4 years, Glenn Miller had 16 number-one hits and 68 top-10 hits. That’s more than Elvis Presley with only 38 top-10 hits and the Beatles with 33 top-10 hits. During World War II, Miller lead the Army Air Forces Band from 1942 to 1944. On December 15, 1944, while flying to Paris to arrange for transferring the band to Paris, the airplane carrying Miller disappeared over the English Channel.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: April 3, 2021

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Marc-Antoine Charpentier was a French Baroque composer who lived from 1643 to 1704. After a failure in composing secular music, he turned his attention to relgious music for the Carmelites, formally known as the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. His mastery in writing sacred vocal music was hailed by his contemporaries. But the French playwright Molière revived his secular musical career by asking him to compose the music for the three of his plays. By his death, Charpentier's. he had composed 800 works.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 27, 2021

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Cornelis Dopper is sometimes referred to as the most Dutch of Dutch composers because his frequent use of Dutch folk music in his compositions. But during his lifetime he was a accused of sounding too German and also too much like John Philip Sousa. In November 1918 after a performance of Dopper’s 7th Symphony which ends in a march, a member of the audience expressed his dissatisfaction with the composition by shouting "Long live Sousa"—in Dutch, of course. The heckler was banned from the concert hall for a week.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 20, 2021

Saturday, March 20, 2021

In 1972, the Italian Ciro Dammicco wrote a song called “Le Rose Blu,” but then he recorded it 1974 with a different name: “Soleado.” The 1974 instrumental sold 5 million copies in Europe. But since that time, it’s been covered by various singers with various lyrics so that it now has 11 versions in German, Turkish, French, English, Hungarian, Spanish, Polish, Italian, and Czech. Born in 1947, the composer has now become a television and movie producer.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: March 13, 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features the "Lincolnshire Posey" by Percy Grainger, but we begin with tune that won the 1967 Grammy Award for Song of the Year: “Up, Up, and Away," composed by Jimmy Webb. Because Webb's father was a Baptist pastor and former U.S. Marine, Webb learned piano and organ as a child and grew up singing in church. In 1961, at age 14, he bought his first record: "Turn Around, Look at Me" by Glen Campbell.

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.

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