Springfield, Illinois’ Vintage Brass Band, under the direction of Todd Cranson, recorded a selection of Civil War era music from the Sousa Archives’ Humboldt Brass Band part books several years ago, and the recording, Vintage 1876: Music of the Humboldt Brass Band, was made available to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music this past weekend. In this recording, the Vintage Brass Band has historically recreated the music from these unique part books which are part of the Carl Busch Papers and Music Instrument Collection held at the Sousa Archives.
The Humboldt Brass Band of Humboldt Kansas was formed in 1865 by Richard Redfield, a civil war veteran who played with Company H of the 177th Regiment Ohio Voluntary Infantry. After the war, Redfield settled in Humboldt Kansas where he opened a local music store and the Humboldt band. A town band in Humboldt was only possible with the financial help of William T. McElroy, who donated $500 in 1865 to help buy the town a set of brass instruments. The band was led by Redfield until 1876 when the role of bandleader transferred to Silas Packard, who ran the band for another two years before disbanding it in 1878.
These music books contain parts for Eb and Bb cornet, Eb alto horn, Bb tenor horn and baritone, Eb Bass, and Bass drum. The part books contain 64 complete melodies for each of these instruments ranging from popular tunes, marches, and dances that were popular for nineteenth-century American audiences. The Vintage Brass Band, which recorded on period instruments, chose 17 of these tunes from these part books to record on their CD. The CD rec0rding is available for purchase for a short period of times at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. For further information call 217-244-9309 or email sousaarchives.org. Listen to the delightful performance of Brass Ball Quick Step.