The Repertoire of the General Reynolds Cornet Band

The repetoire of the Generl Reynolds Concert Band of Conestoga is unique. The band limits its music to that of the "Golden Age of the Brass Band" in which the original General Reynolds Cornet Band existed. Thus, the band limits is repertoire to music available in the time of the Civil War period until the end of World War Two.

The repertoire, which is always expanding, includes the following pieces. To learn more about any piece, click on the underlined title. To read more about all of the pieces, click here.


Marches:

Albanian March (1895)
Aline March (1923)
Bassology March
Battle Hymn of the Republic (1861)
Biga March
Bull Trombone(1924)
Colonel Fitch March (1895)
El Capitan (1896)
Gladiator March (1886)
King Cotton (1895)
Liberty Bell (1893)
Manhattan Beach (1893)
National Emblem (1906)
Proclar March
Radetzky March (1848)
Repasz Band March(1901)
Semper Fidelis (1888)
Stars and Stripes Forever(1896)
The Thunderer (1889)
Washington Post (1889)

Polkas:

California Polka (1938)
Golden Days Polka
Helene Polka
Martha Polka
Village Tavern Polka

Waltzes:

Blue Danube (1867)
Cruising Down the River (1945)

Hymns:

Battle Hymn of the Republic (1861)
Glory to His Name
Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul
It Is Well With My Soul
Nearer, My God, To Thee
Now I Belong to Jesus
Onward Christian Soldiers/Adeste Fideles (1871)
Rock of Ages
There Shall Be Showers of Blessing

Others:

Alexander's Ragtime Band(1912)
Anything Goes (1934)
Auf Wiedersehen – Schottische  (1850’s)
The Entertainer (1902)
The Girl I Left Behind Me (1791)
Hoe Down (1934)
Little Brown Jug (1869)
Man on the Flying Trapeze (1868)
Nancy Lee (1876)
Star Spangled Banner
Whistle While You Work  (1937)
The Yellow Rose of Texas   (1836)
 

Detailed History of the songs of the Repertoire:

Albanian March:  This march was written in 1895 by Robert Browne Hall, one of the leading writers of marches.  Hall was born in the state of Maine in 1858.  He played the cornet, and, in addition to being a composer, he was also a conductor, soloist and teacher. He died in 1907.  Every last Saturday in June, in the state of Maine, is observed as Robert Browne Hall Day.

Alexander's Ragtime Band:  This composition was written by Irving Berlin in 1912.  It was Berlin's first big hit and was the forerunner of modern jazz.

Aline March:  Starting in the year 1923, Harold Bennett wrote four books of music for young bands.  The music in these books contain full sounding, well written marches, but are written in a manner easy for young musicians to play.  The Aline March is in Book number four of this series.  Interestingly, Harold Bennett was a pseudonym for Henry Fillmore, a famous composer of Marches.  Henry Fillmore was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1881.  As a youngster, Fillmore played the flute, guitar, piano and violin, and he sang in a church choir.  He also learned to play the trombone, but this was objectional to his father, who was a very religious man who published church music and considered the trombone to be a sinful and uncouth instrument.  Because his father objected to his choice of music, when he began composing music he published it under pseudonyms so that his father did not know that he was writing and publishing it.  Some of his pseudonyms, in addition to Harold Bennett,  were Al Hayes, Ray Hall, Henrietta Moore, Harry Hartley, and Gus Beans.  Fillmore enjoyed the trombone and wrote many pieces of music that emphasized the trombone smear, such as Bull Trombone and Lassus Trombone.  Henry Fillmore died in 1956.

Anything Goes:  This song came from the Stage Musical of the same name, written by Cole Porter and debuted in 1934.  This Musical production ran for 420 performances on Broadway during the Great Depression.

Battle Hymn of the Republic:  This famous song was written as a church song in the 1850's.  Over the next several years, many lyrics were sung to this tune, including bawdy .  drinking songs, and John Brown's Body.  In 1861, during the Civil War, the majestic words as we know them today, were written by Julia Ward Howe in Washington, DC.  The Battle Hymn of the Republic was the unofficial anthem of the Union Army during the Civil War.  To this day, it is popular as a sentimental song, or as a rousing march.

Biga March:  This march is in book number four for young bands composed by Harold Bennett, a pseudonym for Henry Fillmore.  For details, see Aline March, above.

Blue Danube Waltz:  This famous waltz was composed by Johann Strauss II in 1866.

Bull Trombone:  Bull Trombone is classed as ragtime and was composed by Henry Fillmore in 1924.  Fillmore enjoyed the trombone and wrote many such compositions which featured the trombone slide in what was known as the trombone smear.

California Polka:  This lively polka was written by Karel Echner in 1938.

Colonel Fitch March:  This march was written in 1895 By Robert Browne Hall. For more information on Robert Browne Hall, see Albanian March, above.

Cruising Down the River:  This popular song was composed in 1945 by Eily Beadell and Nell Tollerton, two middle-aged women who entered, and won, a British songwriting contest in 1945.   The Song was number one on the Hit Parade in 1949.

El Capitan March:  This rousing march was written by John Philip Sousa in 1896 from themes from the operetta, El Capitan.  The story of the operetta was set in Spanish occupied Peru.  John Philip Sousa wrote the very successful operetta which was first produced in Boston in 1896.  The operetta survived through many years and is still being performed today.

The Entertainer:  The Entertainer, a good example of Ragtime, was written by Scott Joplin in 1902.  Ragtime became popular in 1895 and is a forerunner of jazz.

Gladiator March:  Written by John Philip Sousa in 1886.  It is considered to be Sousa's first successful march.

Glory to His Name:  This hymn was written by John H. Stockton.  Stockton was born in New Hope, Pennsylvania in 1813.  He was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1832, and died in Philadelphia in 1877.

Golden Days Polka:  This polka was written by F. Tryner.

Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul:  This hymn was written by John W. Peterson who was born in 1921 and died in 2006.  He wrote over 1000 songs and 35 cantatas.  He was born in Lindsborg, Kansas and served in the Army Air Force in the Pacific theater during World War II.   He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1986.

Helene Polka:  Written in 1843 by Alexander Borodin.  Borodin wrote not only polkas, he also composed symphonies, chamber music, operas, and popular songs.

Hoe Down:  This version of Hoe Down was arranged in 1934, and is a medley of old American folk songs.  Included in the medley are Oh Susanna, Oh Dem Golden Slippers, and Turkey in the Straw.  Oh Susanna was composed by Stephen Foster in 1849 and was the theme song for the forty-niners in the California gold rush.  Oh Dem Golden Slippers was composed in 1879 by a negro minstrel, James Bland.  Turkey in the Straw was written sometime between 1829 and 1834.  Three minstrel performers each claimed authorship of the number, George Washington Dixon, Bob Farrell, and George Nichols.  It has never been determined who was the actual writer of the tune.

It is Well With My Soul:  A hymn written by Philip P. Bliss.   Bliss was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania in 1838.  Bliss knew and received instruction from the famous Civil War composer, George F. Root.  Among many other religious songs, he also wrote the rather famous hymn, Let the Lower Lights be Burning.  In 1896, Bliss and his wife, Lucy, were returning to Chicago by train after a Christmas visit to Bradford County, Pennsylvania  when the bridge they were crossing at Ashtabula, Ohio collapsed and the train plunged into the stream below.  The wreckage immediately caught fire.  Mr. Bliss escaped through a window, but went back into the train to rescue his wife.  Both Philip and Lucy Bliss perished in the fire.

King Cotton March:  Written in 1895 by John Philip Sousa.

Liberty Bell March:   Written in 1893 by John Philip Sousa.

Little Brown Jug:  This song was composed in 1869 by Joseph Winner.  It was originally a drinking song published with the pseudonym, Eastburn, which is Winner's middle name.  In 1939, Glenn Miller recorded his swing instrumental arrangement of the tune with great success.

Manhattan Beach March:  Written in 1893 by John Philip Sousa.

Man on the Flying Trapeze:  The lyrics for this song were written by George Leybourne, and the music by Alfred Lee, both Englishmen.  Apparently they failed to have it copyrighted in the United States because it was published in the United States by competing publishers in 1868.

Martha Polka:  The Martha Polka was written by Karel Echtner.

National Emblem March:  This patriotic March was written in 1907 by Edwin Eugene  Bagley who was born in 1857 and died in 1922.   He never took a music lesson, but he was a composer and played the cornet and the trombone.  He was a soloist, played in traveling bands, and was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Nearer My God to Thee:  This hymn was written by Lowell Mason who was born in Medfield, Massachusetts in 1792.  Mason was the composer of over 1600 hymns.  He introduced music into the public schools.  Interestingly, Mason also set music to the nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb.  Mason died in 1872. The song is probably most famous as being the last song played by the band of the RMS TITANIC as the ship went down.

Now I belong to Jesus:  A hymn written by Norman J. Clayton.

Onward Christian Soldiers / Adeste Fideles:   Onward Christian Soldiers is a 19th century English Hymn, the words having been written by Sabine Bring-Gould in 1865.  The music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871.   The music for Adeste Fideles was written by John Francis Wade in 1743.  The text was probably written in the 13th century. Credit for these words range from St. Bonaventure, to King John IV of Portugal, and to various orders of Monks.

Proclar March:  The Proclar March is in Book number 4 for young bands by Harold Bennett.  For details, see Aline March, above.

Radetzky March:  This very popular march was written, in honor of Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky, by Johann Strauss, Sr. in 1848.  When the march was first played for a group of Austrian officers, they instinctively began clapping their hands and stomping their feet when the chorus was played.  This created a tradition that still is carried on with audiences of today when the Radetzky march is played.

Repasz Band March:  The Repasz Band of Williamsport, Pennsylvania was founded in 1831 and still exists.  The band was named in honor of one of its conductors, Daniel Repasz.  The Repasz Band March was written especially for the Repasz Band in 1901 by Harry Lincoln, who was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.  The Repasz Band still concludes each of its concerts with the Repasz Band March.  It is said that the Repasz Band March is the second most played march in the world, second only to the Stars and Stripes Forever March by John Philip Sousa.  Harry Lincoln wrote hundreds of marches and songs that became very popular.  One of his compositions, Silent Thoughts, is  complicated, but a very full and beautiful song.  Many of Lincoln's compositions were published by Vandersloot Music Publishers of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Harry Lincoln also published many of his compositions with pseudonyms.  He was born in 1878 and died in 1937.

Rock of Ages:  The music for this popular hymn was written by Thomas Hastings who lived from 1784 to 1872.  The lyrics were written by Augustus Toplady.

Semper Fidelis:  Written by John Philip Sousa in 1888, the Latin title translates to always faithful, the motto of the United States Marine Corps.  Sousa wrote this march while he was the conductor of the United States Marine Corps Band.

Stars and Stripes Forever March:  Written in 1896 by John Philip Sousa, this is probably the most famous march written by Sousa.  It is often described as the greatest piece of music ever written.

The Star Spangled Banner:  The Star Spangled Banner became the national anthem of the United States by a resolution of congress on March 3, 1931, and by the signature of President Herbert Hoover.  During the War of 1812, Dr. William Beanes, a prominent citizen of Upper Marlboro, and  a friend of Francis Scott Key, was taken prisoner by the British for aiding the arrest of  some British Soldiers.  Beames was taken aboard the British flagship HMS Tonnant.  Francis Scott Key and John Skinner, an American prisoner-exchange agent, by permission of President James Madison, sailed from Baltimore on a British ship to meet with the Commanding officers of the British fleet in an attempt to secure the release of Beames.  They were successful, but they were held on the British ship until the conclusion of the British bombardment of Fort McHenry.  The bombardment continued through most of the night.  The only way that Key could determine the status of the American Fort during the dark night was to make observances during the light created by the explosive bombardment.  Finally, with the light of dawn, he could see that the large American flag was still flying.  This inspired him to write a poem which he entitled "Defence of Fort McHenry". When he returned to Baltimore, his brother-in-law, Judge Joseph H. Nicholson noticed that the rhythm of the poem fit the music of an old British melody entitled “The Anacreontic Song” which was composed by John Stafford Smith.  The combination of this song and Francis Scott Key’s poem evolved to become the Star Spangled Banner.

The Thunderer March:  The Thunderer was written in 1889 by John Philip Sousa.

There Shall Be Showers of Blessing:  A hymn written by John McGranahan

Washington Post March:  Named for the newspaper of the same name, the Washington Post March was composed by John Philip Sousa in 1889 while he was the conductor of the United States Marine Band.  The Washington Post March immediately started an international ballroom dance craze called the two-step.  The Two-step replaced the waltz as a ballroom dance.
 
 


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