US military music questions

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Posted by Klaus on April 19, 2002 at 21:02:44:

With the owner of this board having exactly the occupation he has, at least I can not avoid to have a look at the US Army Band website from time to time. Even if I am a long distance foreigner:

Sean has told of having a "sit-down" tuba (as opposed to his ceremonial Yamaha sousaphone). I might deduce from the website, that this tuba is used for the US Army Brass Band.

Exactly that band makes me put a few questions:

It is reported to have 4 euphonium players. Do 2 of them pick up British style baritones in this band?

The band has 3 Eb alto horns. I know of a conservatory in Bergen, Norway, and maybe one British conservatory, which teach Eb alto horns on high level. The two British mounted military bands let their hornplayers play alto horns in mounted playing, whereas they play their original instruments, French horns, in seated concerts. These three US army brass band alto horn players must be rare birds within the US military music system. Are they French horn players by education, or as hinted in a parenthesis behind one name: tuba players?

Do the trumpet players of the ceremonial band play real cornets, that is shepherd's crook models, in the brass band? Does one player take a flugel horn?

And one non-instrumental question:

I wonder of the historical background for the bear-skin hat of the drum major. Bear-skin hats were historically used by grenadiers. I am only aware of 6 regiments in the world, that use these hats:

The 4 regiments doing watch duty at Buckingham Palace of London. I think their names are Irish Guard, Schottish Guard, Welsh Guard, and Coldstream Guard.

The British Dragoon Guard, where some of the personel, percussion, wear bear-skin, others, wind and brass, wear brass dragoon helmets.

The Danish Royal Lifeguard. The band of which parades the watch company through Copenhagen from is barracks to the royal residence, Amalienborg Palace, and back every day from November through April, the season where the Queen resides in Copenhagen. The rest of the year the band is a concert band apart from state ceremonies.

Of course there also are some Schottish Highland regiments with bear-skin hats, but they are far beyond my closer knowledge.

How does such a rare head-gear turn up with a US army band? And according to a posting of Sean's also in the Marine band, albeit hardly carried by Farah in real life performances?

Maybe not core board stuff, but where-else could I ask?


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