The President's Own

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by bigaggietrumpet, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Last night the President's Own U.S. Marine Band performed at Rudder Theater down here. Since then I've been rackin' my brain trying to think of an adjective that would do them justice. Amazing, awesome, they're above that. It was an incredible performance of musicianship. The trumpet section was as tight as you could ask, and then some. The intonation was spot on throughout the entire range. The whole group is just a class act of the highest order. If you ever get the chance to see them, drop whatever you're doing and go.
     
  2. Mr. Semman

    Mr. Semman Pianissimo User

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    Jan 5, 2005
    West Brookfield, MA
    Mike,

    I know what you mean, last year, I went to see the Army's version in their production of "Spirit of America". It was one of the best productions I have ever witnesses. Pershing Own was absolutely great, and the Old Guard Fife and Drum was too impressive for words. Makes me so ever proud to be a part of the Armed Services, abeit in the Retired Reserve.

    Thanks for the update.

    Gary
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Ha! The Old Guard Fife and Drum....my old unit. :-) The kind of practice and preparation that goes into "Spirit of America" is unbelieveable. From writing a complete new show with drill for a much larger group than normally performs to rehearsing in C-hall for months, dress rehearsals, etc. It was always a pain, but the thrill of 10,000+ screaming audience members when the drums would come out of their feature and we would hit our final push would give me a rush that I have yet to have matched with any other performance! :D There are days that I regret leaving the Army and the Fife and Drum, but suffice it to say that what you see on the floor at SOA is not the whole picture of what you do when you are in the Fife and Drum.

    Back to the subject, in my experience being around those groups, I always thought that in terms of sound, the DC Navy band was the best sounding group, followed closely by The President's Own and Pershings Own, who were so closely matched, it really depended on the particular performance. The Air Force Band and the Coast Guard band, while still very good, just never seemed to be quite on par with the other three service bands.

    (Note: This is my personal observations from doing White House Arrival Ceremonies where the service bands would trade off on the jobs, not attending concerts.)

    But, all of those DC area military bands are great bands with some world class players. TM's own Joey Tartell was a member of the US Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors, if that gives an indication of the caliber of player they attract and keep. A person could do far worse than to do a 20-30 year career playing music with one of them.
     
  4. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    As a kid I studied with John Wright of the President’s Own. Because of my admiration of him (both as musician and as a fine person) I used to love to go to hear the band play as often as possible. I've heard hundreds of concerts and the best way to describe them is by simply admitting that there is no way you can do them justice.

    I really don't miss much about Washington, DC, but I do miss the arts that were there, especially the military bands. While other people were going to hear rock bands, I was going to hear military bands and the National Symphony Orchestra. It was a great place to be a kid who loved classical music!

    Did you know Woody Ludkey or Sue Smith ? They went to high school with me and played in the Army Band. How about Sam Evans? He was my first music teacher (I played drums for a few years before I realized it was damaging my brain :lol: )

    I have such great memories of those fine musicians in the DC area. We were so blessed to have them as our musical role models.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    No, I don't know either of them. I do know a slew of other fine folks though, not only from the Fife and Drum, but also Pershing's Own, the US Navy Band and the US Army Field Band. As for Sam Evans, it sticks in my mind that Sam is the brother-in-law for a guy that I knew in the Fife and Drum (George Granofsky) but I could be thinking of someone else. If Sam is the guy who puts together the militaristic type band groups that play at hotel functions, it's the same guy and I know him a little bit because I have done a few of those gigs here and there.

    The Granofskys have quite a few family members who did military band time. George was in the First US Army Band (where I originally started) and somehow wound up in the Fife and drum. His brother Alan was in Pershings Own and played with the Herald trumpets and his uncle Fred was a percussionist in the US Army Field Band.

    Again, back to the subject, the President's Own certainly is a great band and it's definitely worth the time to go out to see them in concert.
     
  6. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

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    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I was at that concert!!! I was really impressed with a section split between 4 trumpets and 4 cornets still sounding so solid, when they played together, it sounded like one instrument, a remarkable performance.
     

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