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 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)
    Composer: 
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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.

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.

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