Arthur Pryor


Born: September 22, 1870; St. Joseph, MO   Died: June 18, 1942; St. Louis, MO  
Beyond doubt, Arthur Pryor was the foremost trombonist of his day and one of that instrument's most fervent advocates for all time. Although it is largely associated with the military band, the trombone's potential for poetry could be divined as early as Mozart's Requiem and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5; Berlioz waxed eloquent on the instrument's "noble" quality in his orchestration treatise. It remained only for Pryor to reveal in the instrument Read more an eloquence to match that of violin or flute. In addition, he became one of the great bandsmen in the band's golden era and, incidentally, the composer of one of the best-known lighter tunes in music.

Early on, Pryor's musical education was nurtured by his father, a local bandmaster and music director. Grounded in myriad musical instruments, young Arthur was a boon to father, able to deputize for an absent player in the elder's band. Not until he was 15 did young Pryor turn to the slide trombone, when his father received one as payment for a debt. Within a few weeks, he had mastered the instrument. His prowess must have indeed been astonishing, for he went three years without applying oil to the slide, not aware of this facet of maintenance.

At 18, Pryor joined Allessandro Liberati's noted band, three years later returning to become conductor and pianist with the Stanley Opera Company in Denver. His sense of loyalty was so great that he declined an invitation from no less than Patrick S. Gilmore to perform as soloist with the latter's band. Here was an indication of how rapidly the young man's star had ascended in the brief Liberati stint. Arthur's loyalty was soon to be rewarded tenfold. In 1892, word of the young man's virtuosity had reached John Philip Sousa, who extended an invitation to audition for his newly forming civilian band. At rehearsals for the premiere concert, Pryor amazed all present, including the elder trombonists and Sousa himself, with the sounds he produced. Before long, Pryor's solos were one of the highlights of a Sousa concert. In 1895, Sousa appointed Pryor assistant conductor. In 1903, Pryor left Sousa to form his own ensemble and soon Pryor's band came to rival the best in an era when the wind band was omnipresent. Over the years, the band played at numerous World's Fairs, expositions, and other prestigious events, culminating in a performance before President Woodrow Wilson.

Pryor also composed more than 300 compositions. His best-known, even among those who have never heard of Pryor, is The Whistler and His Dog. Pryor also copiously recorded in the dawn of that industry's era, both as soloist and conductor. Indeed, a number of the Sousa band's early recordings were under Pryor's baton, Sousa showing distaste for the new medium. In later years, Pryor enjoyed a more leisurely pace, enjoying picnicking, fishing, dogs, and motor jaunts in convertibles. An easygoing, ready-to-laugh man, he continued practicing the trombone and composing until the end. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 28 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Timeless: Wind Band Dances & Other Concert Favorites / BYU Wind Symphony
    Label: Byu Records   Catalog: 116 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ryan Nowlin,  Joseph Wilcox Jenkins,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Arthur Sullivan  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Peterson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BYU Wind Symphony
    CD: $17.99
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  • 2.
    A Tribute / Band of the Welsh Guards
    Label: British Military Music Archive   Catalog: 1502 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Gaetano Fabiani,  Federico Chueca / Joaquín,  Ferdinand Kuhne  ... 
    Performer:  David [Tenor Vocal] Lloyd
    Conductor:  Andrew Harris,  Thomas Chandler
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  • 3.
    American Works For Trombone
    Label: Greenmill   Catalog: 5638551166 Release Date: 08/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Creston,  Richard Peaslee,  Vincent Persichetti,  Halsey Stevens  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Locker,  Roger Verdi
    CD: $16.99
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  • 4.
    Our Band Heritage, Vol. 1: Revisited
    Label: Allentown Band   Catalog: 98199 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Edwin F. Goldman,  Arthur Pryor,  William Pruyn  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Conard
    Conductor:  Ronald H. Demkee
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  • 5.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Continental Flavour, Vol. 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5190 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Roger,  Belle Fenstock,  Gerhard Winkler,  Gérard Calvi  ... 
    Performer:  Sixten Strömvall
    Conductor:  Roger Roger,  Werner Muller,  Hans-Georg Arlt,  Gérard Calvi  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 6.
    Anemos & Co.
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 23 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Saskia Apon,  Astor Piazzolla,  Anton Bruckner,  Jules Lefrancois  ... 
    Performer:  Josquin Chuffart,  Robin Rinchard,  Jules Lefrancois,  Antoine Ganaye  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anemos Trombone Quartet,  Trio Turbulences,  Koolysteryk
    CD: $34.99
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  • 7.
    Pura Vida
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 543 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Brian Lynn,  Axel Jogensen,  Johannes Brahms,  Derek Bourgeois  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Ellefson,  Kimberly Russ,  Sarah Watkins
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  • 8.
    Best Encores 100
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64752 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alexander Goedicke,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Teodor Grigoriu,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Ole Edvard Antonsen,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Placido Domingo,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  John Barker,  Asher Fisch,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Stevens: Sonata For Trombone;  Cowell: Hymn & Fuguing Tune;  Luening, Kroeger, Etc / Borror, Shelton, Niemann
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 388 Release Date: 01/20/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karl Kroeger,  Leonard Bernstein,  Arthur Pryor,  Otto Luening  ... 
    Performer:  Ronald Borror,  Lucy Shelton,  Edmund Niemann
    CD: $15.99
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  • 10.
    Strong And Free / True North Brass
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637510831 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Ernest MacMillan,  Alastair Kay,  Malcolm Forsyth,  Jim McGrath  ... 
    Performer:  Alastair Kay,  Stuart Laughton,  Raymond Tizzard,  J. Scott Irvine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  True North Brass
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    Bone-a-fide Brass / Smith, Daum, Alessi, Imperial Brass
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 480 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Leidzen,  Tommy Dorsey,  Joseph Kosma,  John Barry  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi
    Conductor:  Derek Smith,  Glen Daum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imperial Brass
    CD: $14.99
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  • 12.
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 5888 Release Date: 12/13/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Herbert L. Clarke,  David Dzubay,  Arthur Pryor  ... 
    Conductor:  Ray Cramer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Indiana University Wind Ensemble
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  • 13.
    Illuminations / Joseph Alessi, Et Al
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 367 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Pryor,  Gardell Simons,  Johan de Meij,  Joseph Turrin
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi
    Conductor:  Eric Rombach- Kendall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of New Mexico Wind Symphony
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  • 14.
    Encore! - Larry Zalkind Plays Encores On The Trombone
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 359 Release Date: 06/03/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles G. Dawes,  Gardell Simons,  Tommy Dorsey,  George Bassman  ... 
    Performer:  Karlyn Bond,  Larry Zalkind,  Tad Calcara
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  • 15.
    The Audition Window - Timeless Trombone Tales / Lenthe, Toms
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 354 Release Date: 05/06/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Ernest Galliard,  Arthur Pryor,  Victor Herbert,  Felix Alexandre Guilmant  ... 
    Performer:  Carl Lenthe,  Ashley Toms
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  • 16.
    Kiosque 1900 / Trudel, Le Kiosque À Musique
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22293 Release Date: 01/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Calixa Lavallée,  Igor Stravinsky,  Leó Weiner  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Trudel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kiosque à Musique
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    In The Moment / Jodee Davis, Eric Charnofsky
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 464 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Pryor,  Ida Gotkovsky,  John Prescott,  Clara Wieck Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  JoDee Davis,  Eric Charnofsky
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  • 18.
    The Teddy Bears Picnic / Foreman, New Columbian Brass Band
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 93201 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Leslie Johnson,  Traditional,  Zez Confrey,  Charles Lloyd Barnhouse  ... 
    Performer:  John Jenkins,  Allison Shaw,  Paul Castillo,  Marty Erickson  ... 
    Conductor:  George Foreman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Columbian Brass Band
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    American Light Classics / Ronald Corp, New London Orchestra
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67067 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Rose,  Don Gillis,  Ethelbert Nevin,  Morton Gould  ... 
    Conductor:  Ronald Corp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 20.
    Trombone Classics / John Kitzman, Janice Kay Hodges
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 386 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Serge Baudo,  Arthur Pryor,  Paul Creston,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Janice Kay Hodges,  John Kitzman
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  • 21.
    Arthur Pryor, Trombone Soloist
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 451 Release Date: 09/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Theodore F. Morse,  John Rosamond Johnson,  Arthur Pryor  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Pryor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pryor's Band,  Orchestra,  Sousa's Band
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  • 22.
    Golden Age Of Brass Vol 2 / David Hickman, Mark Lawrence
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 121 Release Date: 02/08/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Short,  Arthur Pryor,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Malcolm Nabarro  ... 
    Performer:  Jane W. Hickman,  David Hickman,  Mark H. Lawrence
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Serenade Band
    CD: $11.99
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  • 23.
    Tuba Tracks / Gene Pokorny
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 129 Release Date: 02/08/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Castérède,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  J. Hubert "Eubie" Blake  ... 
    Performer:  Gene Pokorny,  Roberta Garten,  Mary Mottl,  David "Red" Lehr  ... 
    Conductor:  David "Red" Lehr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jazz Incredibles
    CD: $14.99
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  • 24.
    Whistler & His Dog / Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
    Label: Newport Classic   Catalog: 60069 Release Date: 10/14/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Pryor
    Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Golden Age Of Brass Vol 1 / David Hickman, Mark Lawrence
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 114 Release Date: 06/07/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Herbert L. Clarke,  Gioachino Rossini,  Herman Bellstedt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Hickman,  Mark H. Lawrence
    Conductor:  Henry Charles Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Serenade Band
    CD: $14.99
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