LeRoy Oatka Festival 2013

by Maria on July 16th, 2013

It was a nice day for a parade. Unfortunately, it was also a nice day for a lot of other activities so we only had twelve people on the street. Even so, all the parts were covered by strong players: Irene and Margaret on piccolo, Kelly and Kim on clarinet, Steve and Maria on saxophone, Art and Ben on trombone, Don on sousaphone, Scott and Chris on snare drum and Andy on bass drum. Since we had two of almost everything, we joked about marching in pairs like the animals going to Noah's Ark!

Did you notice there were no trumpets? Sometimes it happens that we have to play without representation in a particular section, but we have never played without at least one trumpet. After all, the trumpets play a lot of melody, but we had a solution for that. Maria played the trumpet parts on tenor sax, so the melody was loud and clear. This was inspired by the movie, The Glenn Miller Story. According to the movie, the first trumpet player hurt his mouth on a music stand, and Miller had a clarinet play the lead line. Miller liked the sound and continued to use this instrumentation.

A slightly different story was told in the book Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. In this version, the first trumpet player was capable of playing very high, and Miller scored many tunes with parts especially for him. When that trumpet player left the band, the new trumpet player couldn't play as high. Rather than rescore all those tunes, Miller asked one of the clarinets to play the part and doubled it an octave lower on tenor sax. That led to the distinctive sound that many of us associate with the Glenn Miller Band.

I doubt the same thing will happen with Kelley's Heroes. Marching band music sounds much better with a lead trumpet, but it's nice to know we have an alternate plan that will work in case this ever happens again.

Our next parade is Friday night in Rush. See you there!

Posted in Performances, Stories    Tagged with LeRoy, Oatka Fest, Irene, Margaret, Kelly, Kim, Steve, Maria, Art, Ben, Scott M., Chris F., Andy, Don H.


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