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Coda Connections
Columbia Band Fans' Newsletter
Winter 2007

News & Calendar - Winter 2007
Feature - "A Great Place for College Musicians"
Behind the Baton - Director's Thoughts
Fun Stuff - A few words about...
Official CCB/CJB Positions - People in Charge
Contact Information


We're right in the middle of the holiday season, surrounded by snow, sales, and spirit. And of course, no Howard County winter would be complete without a CCB concert! This edition of Coda Connections also includes a feature for college-bound musicians and Mike's latest comments on the CCB repertoire.

I'd also like to encourage you to let me know if there's a particular subject (related to the CCB, the CJB, or music in general) that you would like to see featured in this newsletter; please remember that your feedback is important to the growth and success of this publication.

If your email changes and you'd like to keep getting these newsletters, OR if you wish to submit your own writing/comments, you can always shoot me a message. Thanks!

- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar
Winter News
The concert band will play the annual Winter Concert this Sunday, and the jazz band is currently preparing for a concert in January. Both are free.

Winter Calendar - Concert Band
  Sunday, 12/9, 3:00-4:00P.M., River Hill High School, Clarksville, MD

Winter Calendar - Jazz Band
  Sunday, 1/13, 3:00P.M., River Hill High School, Clarksville, MD

by Len Morse (Percussion)   Article Musical notes on staff
A Great Place for College Musicians

Before you shop for the Christmas tree, light the Menorah, or begin any other holiday traditions, I implore you to stop and be thankful for one more thing. As we continue our traditional holiday season, let's not forget to show our gratitude to a couple of men who, almost 90 years ago, made great strides in music education and the college band experience. If not for these two men, and others like them, the United States would not have nearly as many young musicians who graduate with a true appreciation, talent, and willingness to continue playing music beyond their college years.

Bohumil Makovsky came to America from Bohemia at the age of seventeen, with only six years of formal education. He played clarinet, but began work as an apprentice in his family's cigar manufacturing company. Following the example of John Philip Sousa, he soon put together a band that toured throughout the Midwest, ending up in Oklahoma. The head of Oklahoma A&M (Agricultural & Mechanical) University (now Oklahoma State) eventually asked Makovsky to be the band director and head of the Music Department, two titles that he proudly wore from 1915 to 1943.

During his tenure, "Boh" (as he was called by friends) became known for his unswerving loyalty to music education, attention to detail, and high expectations from his students. His trademarks became his uncrushed black bow tie and his "miniature saxophone" pipe, and he soon became friends with luminaries like Sousa and Henry Fillmore.

He is listed in the Oklahoma "Hall of Fame" and in "Who's Who in American Music," but to many, his greatest accomplishment is his assistance in starting Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity. Although present-day "Kappas" mention Boh's name most often, it was William Scroggs, a student cornet player at Oklahoma A&M, whose initiative actually founded the fraternity. Scroggs envisioned an elite group that would emphasize and develop not only the highest musicianship, but also service, leadership, education, and fellowship in college and university bands.

With Boh's help, and the help of a hand-selected group of fellow musicians and founding fathers, Scroggs' dream was realized on November 27, 1919. The fraternity's Mission Statement has not changed since then: "Kappa Kappa Psi is a fraternal organization that promotes the advancement of college and university bands through dedicated service and support to bands; comprehensive education; leadership opportunities; and recognition; for the benefit of its members and society." Scroggs was the founder, but he could not have done it without Boh, who, even today, is considered to be the "Guiding Spirit" of the fraternity.

There are approximately two hundred active chapters all over the United States. Notable honorary members include John Philip Sousa, Karl King, Frederick Fennell, Frank Simon, Herbert L. Clarke, Harold Bachman, William Revelli, Van Cliburn, Al Hirt, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, and Buddy Rich, among others.

So, the next time you play in or listen to a community band, please remember that many of the musicians in the room (both men and women, since many chapters are now co-ed) have been shaped by the upheld ideals of Mr. Scroggs and Professor Makovsky. Most of these players are better people because of their time in Kappa Kappa Psi, and the groups in which they perform are better for it.

Behind the Baton
by Mike Blackman (Director)   Conductor
Dear Friends of the CCB,

As I write this note I am enjoying the recording of the Columbia Concert Band's final rehearsal before our formal Winter Concert next Sunday. With only three months between our Children's Concert and this one, I was a little concerned about achieving the comfort level that I prefer to have with our repertoire, but the band has done some amazing work over the past few weeks. I think the pieces that I am most excited about are "Three Dorset Songs" by Ralph Vaughn Williams, and Gustav Holst's "Songs of the West." Although both of these composers are "very large" in the world of wind band music, these two selections are relatively unknown. They do, however, sparkle with all of the charm and brilliance that we would expect from the geniuses who brought us "English Folk Song Suite" and the two famous Suites for Military Band. Another work that I'm glad to have chosen is Stephen Bryant's "Dusk," a gorgeous, relatively new piece for concert band. I think the CCB was a little hesitant about this one at first, as the individual parts are not particularly challenging, but I am happy to be getting some recent reports of the "goose bump factor" and I hope that our audience will have the same reaction. Of course, we'll round out the program with some holiday music, so once again I feel like we are offering a nice variety of literature.

At our first rehearsal after the Winter Concert (which happens to be the following day), we will begin preparing for our fourth appearance at a Maryland Music Educators' Conference. On March 1st, 2008, we will travel to the Baltimore Convention Center to perform for band directors from throughout the state, and I have chosen a program that includes music from all difficulty levels - from easy to difficult. My hope is that each teacher in attendance can walk away with a practical repertoire idea for his/her ensemble. We'll hang on to a couple of pieces from our current folder, and toss in a fanfare, my favorite Sousa march, and some nice music for young bands, including "Smithsonian Suite" by our good friend Brian Balmages. Our formal Spring concert, which will take place in mid-May, will feature Norman Dello Joio's "Satiric Dances," a challenging medley from the Broadway show, "Wicked," the hauntingly beautiful "Sanctuary" by Frank Ticheli, and some other surprises. It's going to be a fantastic program!

I have been performing with the Columbia Concert Band for twenty years, and I do hope that there will be at least twenty more. This is a fine group of musicians, and I believe that we play a unique role within the community. When folks hear us for the first time they often ask, "Why have I never heard of this band before?!" My primary goal is to change that - I want every resident of Howard County to know that we have a terrific adult community band that proudly provides FREE concerts throughout the year, every year. And although we are made up mostly of amateur musicians, I really think that our product sounds pretty professional! If you agree, won't you assist me by spreading the word? Direct others to our web site (where they can hear recordings of our recent performances) or bring some new audience members to our next concert. As I always say, this is our way of "giving back" to the community, so please enjoy - again and again! Thanks for your ongoing support.


Mike Blackman,

Fun Stuff
Quarterly Word: "Lincoln Portrait"; Orchestral piece with narrator, composed by Aaron Copland in 1942. Using various excerpts from Abraham Lincoln's own writing, the president is depicted with orchestral accompaniment.

Quarterly Quote: "The pause is as important as the note." ~Truman Fisher (Composer)

Official CCB/CJB Positions
Elected Executive Board
Director - Mike Blackman
President - Jeanette Donald
Vice President - Len Morse
Secretary - Carolyn Hipkins
Treasurer - Beth Jubinski
Historian - Melinda Frisch
Publicity Co-Chairs - Kathleen Shoemaker, Ken Singer
Fundraising Chair - Jenn Ambrosiano
Equipment Manager - Scott Lipcon
Grants, Programs - Jeanette Donald
Member-at-Large - Linda Baker
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan

Appointees and Volunteers
CCB-CJB Liason - Jodi Shochet
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - Fred Shermer
Uniforms - Bill DeVuono
CCB Webmaster - Suzanne Hassell
CJB Director - Pete Barenbregge
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams


Contact Information

phone: 301-598-4587
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Columbia Concert Band | PO Box 2713 | Columbia | MD | 21045-1713