Shout Hallelujah Trombones (Halftime Show)

Saturday, November 5, 2016
Memorial Stadium, 1402 S 1st Street, Champaign

In the 1962 filmed production of Meredith Wilson and Franklin Lacey’s The Music Man, the con man “Professor” Harold Hill explains to his noisy school audience during the show’s first act that he has come to town to organize the River City Boys Band. He asks his audience if any pool table can hope to ever compete against a gold trombone and then inquires if anyone has ever felt the electric thrill of the music of Gilmore, Pat Conway, Giuseppe Creatore, W. C. Handy and John Philip Sousa all coming to town to play on the same historic day. He then sings “Seventy six trombones lead the big parade with a hundred and ten cornets close at hand.” Henry Fillmore, every bit the colorful pitchman of America’s brass band movement as the fictional character Harold Hill, was one of the country’s most respected early twentieth-century composers of unconventional and spirited music written for the trombone and wind band. Frequently referred to as the father of the trombone smear, Fillmore’s fifteen popular novelty pieces which he later titled the Trombone Family, beginning with “Miss Trombone” (1908) and ending with his “Ham Trombone” (1929) are continually played by bands and trombone sections today for the zany enjoyment of audiences across the country. Douglas Yeo, retired professor of trombone at Arizona State University and bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the students and faculty of the School of Music trombone studios will join the Marching Illini, under the direction of Barry Houser, in a special Dad’s Day musical extravaganza dedicated to the golden sounds and technical wizardry of America’s slide trombone. Visit http://archives.library.illinois.edu/sousa/american-music-month/ for more information.

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