Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Golden Hymn Brass Band
Many years ago I used to travel all around the Midwest to attend Drum Corps International marching competitions.  In 2000 I attended the Drum Corps International Finals at the University of Maryland. I recently remembered that experience.  It was also the first time that I experienced world politics while attending a music event.  Taiwan is not officially recognized as a country by the United States.  Taipei Yuehfu from Taipei, Taiwan participated in the DCI Championships that year.  They earned the international championship trophy and this earned them the right to perform their show in exhibition before the Division one (now World Class) finals.  Unfortunately, they had to perform before the official start of the event, since the "Commandant's Own" Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps was playing the Canadian and American national anthem.  If Taipei Yuehfu were to perform after the playing of the national anthems it would be a foreign relations faux pas, as this would signify that Taiwan was a recognized nation on American soil.

This memory made me curious.  If Taiwan had a drum and bugle corps, could they have a brass band?  The answer is yes!  The Golden Hymn Brass Band from Taipei is featured above playing Music of Spheres by Philip Sparke.  Music of Spheres was written in 2004 and it is a professional level work.  Sparke also arranged this score for concert band.  You kind find out more about the work here:  http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/music-of-the-spheres-sheet-music/8077795

The Golden Hymn Brass Band does have a Facebook page and they are active.  I do not read Hokkien, so all I am able to derive from the page is their performance schedule.  The performance of the work is not bad considering the difficulty.  The solo passages are played well.  I do wonder.  Are there any members in this group that marched with Taipei Yeuhfu back in 2000?  I hope so, music is a lifelong activity.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know that Taiwan has a brass band! In general, Taiwanese Musician are really good since they started their training very young. With more exposure and experiences, their brass band could be really good! Thanks for sharing!