...at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
When I was in college, little Tennessee Tech (about 2,500 students in those days, and only 23 music majors when I started), some of my friends and I would huddle in the music library, don our earphones, and listen to recordings of the great University of Michigan Concert Band. Those were the days when William Revelli was the director. We would marvel at how clean and musical that organization sounded, and I'm sure more than a few of us dreamed of playing in such an ensemble.
I went on to play in a number of bands, including the U. S. Air Force bands, Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band, The Disneyland Band, my own California Gold Rush Band, and more recently, the historic Royal Hawaiian Band, founded in 1836. All were great in their own way, but there has always been something about that U. of M. Band...
Tonight the circle closed, when my long-time student, Chris, performed at said Disney Hall with the famed University of Michigan Symphony Band, their homecoming concert after a successful three week tour in China. Chris is the principal bass trombonist, and just graduated summa cum laude from U.M. The performance was everything I hoped for and more, everything I remembered about the band of yore, but with loads of new experiences, a diverse presentation of old and new music and sounds. And even though it wasn't me on that stage, I couldn't have been more proud and happy that my student and friend has grown from a young lad to a world-class musician. Yo Chris! And long live the University of Michigan Band.
Here the band, under the current conductor, Michael Haithcock, performs an excerpt from Bach's "Toccata and Fugue In D Minor." Chris is the bass trombonist.