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September 04, 2003



Now, I don't know if that's a very fair blurb.. ;)

To clarify: my problem wasn't with the music, not at all. The music was fantastic. I don't even have a problem with a hodge-podge of works.

My problem is that they bill a very nice show of chamber music as some kind of higher concept --- "The Age of Reverence" in this case --- that leaves the audience trying to latch onto something that isn't there.

Really, I said it completely wrong --- this show was NOT musically avant-garde, and neither are most shows. They simply try to sound that way with their shows' titles sometimes. :)



Ok, got it. Your comment was about "positioning" a show as some grand higher concept, when in reality, it's not.

I picked up on the avant-garde aspect, I suppose, because what I'm really interested in is whether any modern classical music makes it into drum corp. I've heard of Harmonium by John Adams used by the Boston Crusaders but am unaware of any other performances.


Oh wow, well depending on the scope of stuff you're looking for, corps do "classical" ALL the time. Here's a few picks just from 2000:

Cavaliers: Niagara Falls (Michael Daugerty; symphonic band piece)

Santa Clara Vanguard:
- Prayers of Kierkegaard, No. 4 (Barber)
- Bartok String Quartet No. 4, mvt. 5
- Bartok Piano Concerto No. 1, mvt. 3
- Adagio for Strings (Barber)
- Stained Glass (for percussion ensemble, by David Gililngham)

Boston Crusaders: Bolero (Ravel), et al

Phantom Regiment:
- Jeux (Debussy)
- Petrouchka (Stravinsky)
- Transfigured Night (Schoenberg)
- Rite of Spring (Stravinsky)

Glassmen: Gershwin's Concerto in F

Madison Scouts:
- The Gadfly (Shostakovich)
- First Ballet Suite #5 (Shostakovich)
- Gayane (Khachaturian)
- Masquerade (Khachaturian)
- Piano Concerto (Khachaturian)

And since you mentioned John Adams, I know that Short Ride has been done at least once in the last four years, probably more than that.

Really, drum corps is becoming its own "contemporary classical" genre. There's an awful lot of original composing going on, even when it's billed as being arrangements of other classical pieces. And of course, The Cavaliers (the most obvious example) have done completely original stuff the last three years, and it's all very artistic, even when it is overtly jazz-influenced.

Drum Corps ain't just Malaguea anymore. ;)



Um, I rather forgot the "American" part when I was listing those examples.. ..sorry, heh.

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