In 1917, Percy Grainger bought a saxophone and taught himself one selection, the Blue Bells of Scotland. Next, he walked to Fort Totten and enlisted as a musician, third class. He didn’t mention that he was a famous concert pianist (he was later found out) and devoted his attention for the next several years to exploring the instruments and possibilities of the wind-band. He characterized these years as some of the happiest of his life, and maintained a life-long relationship with military bands.
Grainger’s efforts resulted in a considerable amount of unique wind band repertoire. Audiences and musicians alike have been fascinated (and frustrated) by his band compositions since, with much discussion, as well as numerous performances and recordings along the way. One musician in particular, Jason K. Fettig, Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, will continue this discussion at our next members’ meeting.
Col. Fettig was involved in the 2010 CD set of The Music Lover’s Grainger, and will discuss that recording, as well as his ideas and experience understanding Grainger’s work in general, including how a conductor would approach working on some particular works. Because 2022 is the 85th anniversary of Lincolnshire Post discussion will be focus on this important composition. We suggest attendees review a selection of the Marine Band’s Lincolnshire Posy performances here.
We hope you can join the Percy Grainger Society as we welcome Col. Fettig for this discussion.