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: October 16, 2021

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Bing Crosby's little brother formed a big band in 1935. That's how Bob Crosby and His Bob Cats became a major act in the world of big band music. For his work in radio and television, Bob Crosby has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During WW II, Bob Crosby lead a marine band in the Pacific theater. The Bob Cats were formed around 1935 and were a Dixieland band with many members coming from New Orleans.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: October 9, 2021

Saturday, October 9, 2021

In 1900, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the U.S. First Marines Regiment fought side by side during the Boxer Rebellion in China. Also present in Beijing was Herbert Hoover—before he was President, of course. In 1929, John Philip Sousa was asked by the U.S. Marine veterans of the Boxer Rebellion to compose a march for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. It was debuted at the 1930 meeting of the Gridiron Club at which President Hoover was present.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: October 2, 2021

Saturday, October 2, 2021

In February of 1932, George Gershwin took a vacation to Havana, Cuba. The trip inspired him to write his “Cuban Overture,” which, of course, is influenced by Cuban music and dance. It also includes referenes to the folk song “La Paloma.” The New York Philharmonic orchestra debuted the piece on August 16, 1932, in an outdoor stadium concert attended by over 17,000 people. Today's edition features a wind-band arrangement of the “Cuban Overture.”

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: September 25, 2021

Saturday, September 25, 2021

John Philip Sousa is known for his marches. Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion will begin with one of those: "The Free Lance March." But you will also hear his waltz entitled “In the Land of the Golden Fleece.” It comes from the suite entitled “Tales of a Traveler,” which was the suite his band performed most frequently. The suite was conceived for the band’s world tour, and the waltz is dedicated to the matrons and maids of Australia. “The Land of the Golden Fleece” is a nickname for Australia.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: September 18, 2021

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Today's edition opens with "Soul Bossa Nova," by Quincy Jones. The first several seconds of the recording has a laughing sound, produced by a percussion instrument called a cuíca (pronounced KWEE kuh). It’s a Brazilian friction drum with a large pitch range, produced by changing tension on the head of the drum. “Cuíca” is Portuguese for the gray four-eyed opossum, which is known for its high-pitched cry.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: September 11, 2021

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Today's edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features a wind-band arrangement of the "Festive Overture" by Reinhold Glière, who lived from 1875 to 1956. He was of Ukrainian, German, and Polish descent and was named the People's Artist of the USSR in 1938. His father was a German instrument maker who moved to Russia and worked for a Polish instrument maker who had also moved to Russia. His father married his boss' daughter.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: September 4, 2021

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Don Elliott (1926-1984) was an American jazz trumpeter, vibraphonist, vocalist, and mellophone player. Elliott recorded over 60 albums and 5,000 advertising jingles throughout his career. Elliott played mellophone in his high school band and played trumpet for an army band. He also played the trombone, flugelhorn, and drums. He pioneered the art of multitrack recording, especially helpful in recording jingles for advertising. He made contributions to both film scores and Broadway productions.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: August 28, 2021

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Born near Berlin in 1866, Paul Lincke, as a 9-year-old, was more interested in watching the changing of the guard and listening the accompanying band than in any other activity. His mother sent him to a military school where he primarily learned to play the bassoon, but also learned to play the tenor horn, drums, piano, and violin. When he tried to join a German military band in 1884, his chest was found to be too small. So he became a theater orchestra member in Berlin and then spent 2 years performing with the Folies Bergère in Paris.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: August 21, 2021 (Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada (BRRC) is the oldest currently functioning military band in Canada. It was founded in 1863. The Royal Regiment was formed in 1936 by amalgamating the Toronto Regiment and the 10th Royal Grenadiers. During WW I, the Toronto Regiment fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Members of the band served as stretcher bearers during this battle.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: August 14, 2021

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Don Elliot (1926-1984) was a trumpet player, vibraphone, and mellophone player. The mellophone is brass instrument with conical bore and typically pitched in E-flat, sometimes in F. It’s typically used in marching bands to replace the French horn. Don Elliot is probably one of the few musicians to ever make an album that features the mellophone, and we’re going to open today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion with a selection from that 1965 album.

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.

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