Monday, February 27, 2017

Uganda School Band

Mbale School Band of Uganda
I finish this African safari of brass band with a school band instead of community band.  Technically a school band is of the community.  It appears this school group actually performs out in the community to raise money for the school.  Fundraising is part of the Brass Band tradition, especially in 19th century America.

Uganda is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet, so I am not sure of the legitimacy of the school's website.  


If everything is true, then this band has been around for 8-10 years, and since the country was a British colony up until the 1960's it is interesting to see that the British culture is still embraced.

The music in the video is F.E. Bigelow's Our Director March.  I have a soft spot for this march, considering it is one of three compositions to have been written by Bigelow.  Our Director March is the fight song Sparta and Dixon, IL High Schools.  Sparta was the first school that I worked at, while Dixon is where I currently work as the municipal band director in my spare time.  I have between 10-20 students in my band from the Dixon High School.  We also join the high school playing this march for the annual Petunia Festival Parade in Dixon, IL.  http://www.petuniafestival.org

I find it compelling that American music from an obscure composer has travelled half way around the world into the hands of children from one of the poorest countries on the planet in the form of a brass band arrangement.  The children perform it pretty well too.  Enjoy!

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