My Alma Mater! UMass Minuteman Marching Band at the Rose Parade: New Year’s Day, January 1, 2018

Also, my DH and DS graduated from UMass Amherst!  Many of my best friends were in the marching band…but I couldn’t take my piano.  LOL

 

The internationally televised parade steps off at 11 a.m. EST. UMass joins 20 other marching bands selected from around the country to participate in the parade, as well as marching bands from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia, the two teams playing in the Rose Bowl football game later in the day on Jan. 1.

“Since UMass Amherst is the Commonwealth’s campus, we consider ourselves to be the Commonwealth’s band,” said Band Director Timothy Todd Anderson. “We can’t wait to represent not only our university, but all of Massachusetts for millions of people. It’s our way to tell the world what UMass is all about.”

UMass Amherst, the flagship campus of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the largest public research university in New England, distinguished by the excellence and breadth of its academic, research and community programs.

Founded in 1863 and home to nearly 30,000 total undergraduate and graduate students, UMass ranks no. 27 in a field of more than 700 public, four-year colleges across the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s latest annual college guide.

UMass Amherst stretches across more than 1,400 acres of land in the historic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, providing a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers – campus sits 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The idyllic college town of Amherst is home to hiking, biking, museums, music, theater, history, food, farms and much more. UMass Amherst also joins a local consortium of five nationally recognized colleges, including Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges.

Where to watch the Rose Parade beginning at 11 a.m. EST on January 1:

  • NBC television
  • ABC television
  • The Hallmark Channel
  • HGTV
  • Univision
  • RFD TV
  • Amazon Prime for members with a Prime Account
  • Streaming live at ktla.com/roseparade or without commentary on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ktla5

The Minuteman Marching Band is scheduled as the 11th marching unit in the parade, so be sure to tune in right at 11 so you don’t miss the band!

 

 

Michael Galetta ’19 and Jaclyn Nicholson ’19 talk about joining the family of the UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band and their performance in the Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade, January 1, 2018.

 

Talia Kuras ’18 fills us in on the Color Guard’s special role in the UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band, leading up to the band’s historic performance in the Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade, January 1, 2018.

 

The UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band debuts new uniforms at the Rose Parade, January 1, 2018 on ABC and NBC at 11a.m. ET. The band wishes to thank everyone who donated to the uniform fund, providing their first new look since 2000.

Duke Ellington’s Birthday

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Duke Ellington (1899 to 1974) was a composer, bandleader, and pianist. He was born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C.

From an early age, the handsome, sharply dressed teenager (that’s where he got the nickname, Duke) was headed for success. At first it was art. He won a poster-design contest and an art scholarship, left school and started a sign-painting business. But it was his natural piano-playing ability that attracted the young women, so Duke Ellington headed in that direction. He developed his keyboard skills by listening to local black ragtime pianists; he composed his first piece, Soda Fountain Rag, around 1915. A successful professional musician by the early 1920s, he left Washington in the spring of 1923 for New York, which was his home base for the rest of his life. Between December 1927 and 1931 his orchestra held forth at Harlem’s Cotton Club, where regular radio broadcasts, together with an active recording schedule, helped him establish a nationwide reputation. Take the “A” Train was his “signature song”.

In such compositions as Black and Tan Fantasy (1927), Mood Indigo (1930),Solitude (1934), and Echoes of Harlem (1935), Ellington emerged as a distinctive composer for his ensemble, employing the rhythms, harmonies, and tone colors of jazz to create pieces that vividly captured aspects of the African-American experience. At the same time, he sought to broaden jazz’s expressive range and formal boundaries in such extended works asReminiscing in Tempo (1935), Black, Brown, and Beige (1943), and Harlem(1951).

An essential feature of Ellington’s composing method was to write with specific instrumentalists in mind, often drawing them into the creative process by building entire pieces out of their musical ideas.

He wrote scores for big band pieces, film scores, operas, ballets, Broadway shows, gospel music, musicals, films, television, and ballet and in the 1960s produced a series of sacred concerts combining his orchestra, choirs, vocalists, and dancers. He would work with each section of his orchestra as an entity unto its own and then bring them together to create the unique sounds such as, Mood Indigo. Over 1,000 musical pieces are credited to the great Duke Ellington. James Lincoln Collier studied the Duke and his Orchestra, comparing Duke Ellington to a “master chef who plans the menus, trains the assistants, supervises them, tastes everything, adjusts the spices … and in the end we credit him with the result.”

Ellington was successful, as few others have been, in reconciling the practical function of a popular entertainer with the artistic aspirations of a serious composer. His rich legacy consists of hundreds of recordings, his many pieces that have entered the standard repertory, and his musical materials now preserved in the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. There is a statue of Duke Ellington in New York.

 Ellington’s birthday

 anniversary of Ellington’s death

Ellington’s works were played in an Grammy Winning performance, Forty-Second Annual Awards

Read quotes by and about Ellington

 News Item about Ellington

The piano industry is slowly going out of tune | Public Radio International

Vintage TV set isolated on white background with static

 

The piano was once the heart of the home. In 1909, people bought more than 350,000 of the instruments.

“Back in the early 1900s, there were very little forms of entertainment,” says Stephen Scharbrough, a second-generation piano tuner and technician. “It was a time that was pre-radio, so if you wanted entertainment, music, or something to interact with at your house, place of business, or a restaurant or bar, you had to hire a musician or pianist.”

The piano eventually caught on, and individuals learned how to play the piano on their own to entertain themselves. But today, “things have obviously changed a bit since then,” Scarborough says.

The television has adopted the piano’s former role in the modern era, and children are easily entertained with tablets instead of having to practice musical scales. Annual piano sales have dropped to between 30,000 and 40,000.

Instead of serving as the family entertainment center, Scharbrough says pianos are now owned by specific sets of people. “It’s the family that places priority on self-discipline and has a respect for arts and music,” he says.

Read the entire article at The piano industry is slowly going out of tune | Public Radio International.

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