Music on Mondays — S&M………. Oooops, I mean M&M
I grew up playing the piano and violin, as well as singing. If I had it to do all over again, I think I would choose an instrument that I could play in the band — I’m kind of partial to the oboe. I always so wanted to march in a band.
I’m pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to marching bands as opposed to show bands. I’m not a big fan of bands that stand on the field and play Broadway show tunes, the latest pop songs, or the latest movie soundtracks.
In that regard, my favorite band for the past 40 years has been the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band from Texas A&M University. They are the epitome of a marching band: M&M (music & marching) with precision drills. Most of the band is in the 2400-member Corps of Cadets (the largest ROTC outside of the military academies), so precision is in their DNA I do believe.
According to the Powers that Be, there are 423 members of the 2013-2014 Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, making it the largest college or university band in the nation, and the largest military marching band in the world.
In recognition of the start of the college football season, here is a video of a 2009 halftime performance of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band:
If you like march music, check out anything by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), “The March King.” There was, and is, no one better at composing march music. Sousa wrote 136 marches, and I have them all in my music collection. Unfortunately, I have never been able to choose a favorite. Just depends on which one is next up in the music list.
The second to the last piece that the band played in the video (at the 7:20 mark) was “Semper Fidelis,” the official march of the United States Marine Corps. Here is the National March of the United States of America, “Stars and Stripes Forever,” also by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
Of course, I have to end this Music on Mondays post musically with “The Aggie War Hymn,” composed by J.V. “Pinky” Wilson, one of hundreds of Aggies who fought in World War I.
Non-musically, I’ll end with a simple “Go, Johnny, Go.“
Ah, what the heck, if I’m going to say, “Go, Johnny, go” I might as well end this music post with Chuck Berry’s 1958 hit, “Johnny B. Goode.”
Be good, Johnny, be good.
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Posted on September 2, 2013, in Halls of History, History, Music, Music on Mondays, Videos and tagged college bands, fightin' texas aggie band, john philip sousa, largest marching bands, military marching bands, texas a&m university, texas aggies, university bands. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.