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Thomas Coates: The Father of Band Music in America

Coates / Hedwig,Douglas
Release Date: 02/09/2016 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1556   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Thomas CoatesFrederick J. KellerFranz von Suppé
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The monument to Thomas Coates (1803/13–1895) in the 7th Street Cemetery in Easton, Pennsylvania, bears the inscription “The Father of Band Music in America.” This is a rather remarkable claim on behalf of a musician so little known today, and the sentiment may simply reflect the pride of the community regarding a fellow citizen who was an important part of the wind band movement in the United States. A closer look at the career of Coates, however, suggests that the epitaph may contain a larger element of truth than his modern obscurity may indicate. Perhaps the inscription may be better stated as “A Father of Band Music in America,” because at every important moment in the rise of the idiom, his contemporaries acknowledged his importance. Read more He was likely a very early circus bandmaster, his compositions and arrangements were popular before, during and after the Civil War, and he was named by the United States government to a federal commission to improve the quality of military band music. He was respected by his fellow band leaders, and his funeral marches were given particular praise as the finest composed for wind band. He produced works for band, piano, voice, and he was an important leader in the establishment of the community guitar ensembles of the late Victorian Era.

ABOUT THE RECORDING
This recording presents music from late 19th-century printed and manuscript parts. Music publishers rarely produced scores before the 1890s, so scores were prepared from the collected parts for the recording by Michael B. O’Connor. The errors and inconsistencies in these parts were considerable, revealing that apparent little attention was given to the proof reading of individual parts before publication. The instruments played on the recording were constructed during the second half of the 19th century, although a few were built during the first decade of the 20th century on models designed in the previous century, using the same materials and construction methods. The band also played period mouthpieces, a rare practice in these types of recordings. Although presenting real challenges for the players, the use of the original mouthpieces is essential in capturing the sound of these instruments. Late Victorian instruments in the United States were generally pitched higher than A=450Hz and this recording was performed at A=454Hz. - MSR Classics
All music editions by Michael B. O’Connor. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Wilking Quickstep by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
2.
Plantation Echoes by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
3.
Safe in the Arms of Jesus Fantasia by Frederick J. Keller
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
4.
March Funebra, Op.18 by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
5.
Bontey en avant Quickstep by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
6.
Columbian National Potpourri by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
7.
Mein oestreich by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
8.
Tycoon March by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
9.
Funeral March, Op.19 by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band
10.
Salute to Erin Medley Overture by Thomas Coates
Conductor:  Douglas Hedwig
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band

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