© 2024 WLRH All Rights Reserved
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Brass Reed Percussion
Brass, Reeds, and Percussion

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion is WLRH’s longest running program, started in 1976 by musician Darryl Adams,  and as the name suggests—is a program about music for the wind band (as opposed to the orchestra). The program, now hosted by John Hightower, features music composed for the instruments of the typical American high school band or the typical American military band. Brass, Reeds and Percussion also provides information about local wind-band performances, players, and history.

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion airs every Saturday at 1 p.m. Follow Brass, Reeds and Percussion on Facebook.

Latest Episodes
  • Brass, Reeds, and Percussion always features a variety of music from different periods and of different styles. This edition is no different. It begins with a march by a circus-band composer and includes music from the movies, a jolly song written Lil Hardin Armstrong (Louis Armstrong's second wife), Parez Prado's last big hit from 1968, and a transcription of music by the Romantic composer Jules Massenet. It concludes with original classical wind-band music composed by one of Beethoven's chief rivals during the height of his popularity: Franz Krommer.
  • This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features music from the Renaissance arranged for the German band Salaputia Brass. The music was composed during the reign of Elizabeth I by the English composer Anthony Holborne. Brass, Reeds, and Percussion opens with a fanfare by Belgian composer Jean-Pierre Haeck.
  • Variety is the touchstone of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion, and this Saturday's edition features Dixieland, big band, classical, and 20th century music, among many other types. This edition begins with Dixieland. One of the up-and-coming Dixieland bands from New Orleans is Tuba Skinny. In addition to professional recordings, the band regularly performs on the streets of the French Quarter. Perhaps one of the strangest things about these musicians is that very few are from Louisiana, New Orleans, or even the South. Most are transplants from elsewhere in the United States—from Boston to Seattle—who were attracted to the musical traditions of the city. This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion begins with two recordings by Tuba Skinny. The first is from 1921 and the second is an original composition by the band's leader Shaye Cohn, granddaughter of jazz saxophone player Al Cohn, who was a member of Woody Herman's band.
  • Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features an Alabama-born musician popular during the 1920s and 1930s. He is Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon, born in Montgomery, but raised in Kansas City, Missouri. His nickname “Half Pint” comes from his 5'2" height. Starting in show business in 1910, he became a vaudeville singer, comedian, and stage designer. He often dressed as a female impersonator. He staged the performances of Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith, known as the Empress of the Blues. He served in the U.S. Army during WW I and rose to the rank of sergeant. During WW II, he worked at the Pentagon, apparently as a civilian.
  • This is the St. Patrick’s Day edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion and features Irish music. We open with and Irish tune that is the official march of the U.S. First Cavalry Division: “The Gary Owen March.” The tune was the favorite of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, sometimes referred to as General Custer, who was the commander of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment. During one battle in 1874, Col. Custer ordered the 7th Cavalry mounted band to perform the march while leading his soldiers into battle. In 1876, the band members were not present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (also known as Custer’s Last Stand) because their horses were needed as backup mounts for the cavalrymen. The band played the march while standing when the regiment left camp. Ultimately, the band did go to the battle site to recover the wounded and escort them to safety.
  • This edition Brass, Reeds, and Percussion with marches by Julius Fucik, best known in the United States for the so-called circus march “Thunder and Blazes,” more accurately entitled “Entry of the Gladiators.” Known as the “Bohemian Sousa,” Fucik has many other compositions to his credit—many just as creative as “Entry of the Gladiators.” Born in what is today called the Czech Republic, Fucik studied bassoon, violin, and drums and took composition lessons from Anton Dvorak. He played the bassoon in an Austro-Hungarian Empire army band and was the bandmaster of at least two army bands. Eventually, he settled in Berlin where he started his own band and music publishing company.
  • This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features original classical wind-band music by Ignace Joseph Pleyel. Pleyel was born in Lower Austria; but eventually made his home in Paris, where he was famous as a composer, music publisher, and piano builder. Pleyel lived from 1757 to 1831, clearly making him a composer of the classical period. But he is not as well known as other composers of this period—like Haydn, who taught him and considered him a good student. After a visit to Italy, Pleyel moved to Strasbourg, France, to serve as an organist at the Strasbourg Cathedral. Eventually, Pleyel moved to Paris and became a music publisher and piano builder in addition to being a composer.
  • This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features steampunk music and original classical wind band music. Steampunk is a type of science fiction that depicts futuristic and fictional technology from the Victorian era. Steampunk is based on the science fiction of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. Steampunk can also refer to artistic and musical styles from the same imagined, but futuristic past and can include elements of Victorian fashion and art nouveau architecture. This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features music composed with this aesthetic by Erika Svanoe, who has a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin, a master's degree in wind conducting from Oklahoma State University, and a doctorate in musical arts from Ohio State University.
  • This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features steampunk music and original classical wind band music. Steampunk is a type of science fiction that depicts futuristic and fictional technology from the Victorian era. Steampunk is based on the science fiction of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. Steampunk can also refer to artistic and musical styles from the same imagined, but futuristic past and can include elements of Victorian fashion and art nouveau architecture. This edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features music composed with this aesthetic by Erika Svanoe, who has a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin, a master's degree in wind conducting from Oklahoma State University, and a doctorate in musical arts from Ohio State University.
  • To celebrate Mardi Gras and Black History Month, this edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion features remastered Dixieland recordings from the 1920s and 1930s. Robert Parker, an Australian sound engineer, has processed and remastered a number of old 78-rpm recordings so that they almost sound like modern recordings. Regardless, the fidelity is tremendously improved. We will have a number of selections from his compact disc entitled “New Orleans: Jazz Classics in Digital Stereo.” Today, you will hear at least two original recordings by the 1930s reincarnation of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, one of the few jazz bands known by their initials: N.O.R.K. The other is the Original Dixieland Jazz Band: O.D.J.B.