Buried Treasure: Read the Comments
As many of you know, I’ve been maintaining this site for a few years now, and after a time working on any project, it gets to a steady state where not a lot changes. While the under-the-hood things have been happening, the look and the content of the site haven’t changed a lot in the last couple of years.
When a new comment needs to be moderated, I usually give it a quick scan to make sure it’s not spam, approve it, and rarely do I give it a second thought.
A couple of weeks ago, I was doing some maintenance on the site, updating plug-ins, and doing server operating system security updates. When I was finished, I started reading in detail some of the comments that are attached to the different posts and pages. I was completely floored by some of them in their praise for the Band and Col. Feltham. I know how much my time at VFMA affected my life, but I don’t think I really understood the degree to which our shared experiences in the Band affected our group. The more I read, the more I realized what a gift we share.
If you’ve been listening to the music, that’s great! That’s why it’s here. But now, I am asking you that the next time you’re on the site, take some time to browse some of the comments. Seek them out. They are often hidden at the bottom of the longer pages and posts, but I am certain that you’ll enjoy reading them.
Thanks much and be well!
Why are there no recordings of the VFMA Band during 1960 to 1960?
Good morning and thanks for your note.
The only reason there are none is that I don’t have any. This site started as a collection of what I had from my years in the Band. Others have contributed either albums, reel-to-reel tapes, or digital recordings that they have made. I’m happy to digitize and post recordings that may be submitted. If you have some you’d like posted, email me at DanWolfe.firstname.lastname@example.org so that arrangements can be made to get the media to me and back.
Hope that answers the question!
Dan, Enormous thanks for envisioning , developing, maintaining, and frankly, underwriting with both financial resources and technical ability the continuation of Bandsir.com. My word, very few major educational institutions at the university level curate the legacies of their musical programs as you have for Duke’s bands. You need not apologize for changing the look, etc. The very fact that these recordings are consolidated and accessible at such a high fidelity quality is astonishing. And the enormity of recordings makes it a pleasant challenge to even begin to go beyond just picking a few tunes from “our own years” or performances to fully appreciate the consistently high performance level of Duke’s bands over the years. At some point in the near-term, there should be a conversation among a support group to get your ideas as the originator on how this remarkable thing you’ve created can have a shelf-life beyond the rapidly approaching end of the parade we all face. Too many familiar names have gone already. I’m sure you can monitor number of visits to the site, and though I’m hardly regular, I do occasionally walk down memory lane, and those visits are wonderful, because I’m reminded of how fortunate we all were to have grown in so many ways under Duke’s guidance. Immeasurable thanks to you.
Thanks for your kind words, Dan. I appreciate it and it’s always been a treat to crank up “British Eighth” and sing along. lol…
I’ve been considering options for moving the site to a cloud-based installation and figuring out how to keep it going post me. Jeff Tobin, also 74 and 76JC, and I had a short conversation about that some time ago. I would love to talk about that whenever the brain trust, i.e. the site users, want to have that conversation.
Always a delight to hear from you, sir! And thank you for your contribution to the site! ‘Preciate it greatly.
Dan, I have two albums that were definitely before our time. One is called Star spangled spectacular. The other is called to the men of valley forge. Both on RCA Victor. They are not in pristine condition, but if you would like them I will send them to you. There is no date on either the record itself or the album If you would like them, just shoot me your address and I’ll put them in the mail.
Scott Brown ’74
Hey Scott! Wonderful to hear from you! Hope all is well with you and yours.
Check the Star Spangled Spectacular album and see if it’s the same one that’s on the site already. I know I don’t have “Men of Valley Forge”, so if you wanna send it to me, I’ll get it digitized and returned to you.
Drop me a note at DanWolfe.email@example.com and I’ll send you my snail mail address.
Be well, sir! Great to hear from you!
Dan, curious how many years Duke used British Eighth as a March on? Heck of a march. Too, interesting to see how Duke returned to the same literature over the years. Beyond the show tune sugar sticks that changed depending on what Broadwy hits landed, each band seemed to have a serious chops chart. Some impossible overture, usually an old chestnut performed at Saturday afternoon “Firemans’ Picnics at the Park bandshell. But for the spring band of 1970, it was overture to Colas Bruegnon. We heard the Philly Orchestra “rehearsing, (yeah, right—those boys barely held it together) the orchestral (obviously) version of Colas when we arrived at the Philadelphia Academy of Music to rehearse 1812 with Maestro Ormandy. I guess Duke got excited and found the band transcription of the piece and away we went. I think the band genuinely welcomed the challenge. Great piece, higher performance level than normal. We took it much slower than dictated tempo, because it was brutal even at reduced speed, but still was a killer chart and showcased the band and Duke’s direction. I recommend a listen.
That was a wicked piece of music! https://www.bandsir.com/1969-1970/1969-1970-late-spring-concert/ has it on the playlist. I had a tape of that when I was there and we used to listen to that over and over again. I believe that we tried to play it my plebe year (71-72) and it didn’t go so well so we wound up not playing it.
Dan, I wrote a longer comment only to mess up by hitting post w/o email
1. Wonder how many years Duke used British Eighth as March on? That baby peeled the paint off the parade stands
2. Revealing to see how Duke recycled repertoire over the years; lots of sugar sticks
3. But each band seems to have had its signature killer chart. For the band of spring 1970, I suggest it was Overture to Colas Bruegnon. Hard! And fun! Worth a listen
Dan, promise I won’t become a chatty Kathy; but in addition to you, and your astounding effort to preserve the Band legacy, there was Ron Youngs without whom many of these tracks would be lost to time. Bruce Daggett was an audiophile who contributed much. And Mr and Mrs Getz at Harrisburg
There was at least one other soul who did his best to carry on Duke’s legacy in real time. Bandmaster Danny Jaynes. He did his best with the resources prevailing Administrations afforded. I don’t know how the eventual fate of the Band unfolded as it did (I’ll leave it at that—maybe it’s simply the axiom that everything ends)—just that the finest outreach and effective PR tool the Institution ever created went away. Danny Jaynes tried mightily during his tenure to keep the music playing. And the rest of the story is history.
You’re right about Ron Youngs. Here’s a page from the website that celebrates Ron and his recordings that made this all possible.
You, Bruce Daggett, Dave Getz, and others who contributed to BandSir.com all share in the success of the site. Y’all make this easy and fun.
Hi Dan, I’m a 1972JC grad. Played Euphonium in the band, and trombone in the Dance Band. I have the March 1972 Dance Band Album and have digitized it with Audacity software.
I also have fairly decent pics (with my iPhone) of the front and back of the LP and would be happy to get them to you for posting if you would like.
Let me know.
Hey Jeff! I remember you quite well from my plebe year. Nice to hear from you!
If you’d like, you can send ’em all to BandSir.firstname.lastname@example.org or my own email at DanWolfe.email@example.com. It may take me a bit to get it posted, but I’ll get it done.
Thanks much! I appreciate all the help I can get.
Be well, sir!
Dan thanks for editing my last comment. Don’t want it to appear as if Bandsir commenter is saying VF doesn’t have a band. Obviously it does, and apparently grants scholarships
Thanks again for wordsmithing. No reply needed. Dan