After graduating from Irondale High School in 1995 I went on my first tour with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps. I wasn’t just a band geek I was an audio geek as well. I purchased a MiniDisc recorder in 1994 and I brought it on tour in 1995. Even though I was playing Euphonium with the corps, my friend and Irondale alumnus Aaron Fisher (who was on staff) was able to set things up and record a couple rehearsals and performances.

Winter Camps

I think most of these recordings were from the March camp, because we went outside for the April camp and these are definitely indoor recordings.

One of the concert pieces we played during camp was an irish traditional called The Minstrel Boy

 

Here is the hornline singing The Minstrel Boy

 

The 1995 Program – Adventures Under a Darkened Sky

About the tracks on this early recording of the 1995 program:

1. The capriccio introduction and Symphonic Dances remained relatively unchanged throughout the season (minus tempo changes).

2. The ballad – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, 18th Variation remained relatively unchanged throughout the season.

3. This introduction to the 2nd Piano Concerto remained relatively unchanged, except by the time we got to DCI finals, the last note was a whopping 24 counts 😁

4. Jeff Prosperie, our percussion arranger at the time, is a visionary. Phantom Regiment was doing very innovative (and sometimes crazy) things with percussion design in the 90s during his reign. One of the things I had almost forgotten about was the “pots and pans” tenors. Jeff had a set of tenor drums made with what I can only describe as pots in place of the drums. It was a wild idea that never made it to the field, but you can hear them in this recording.

Also this version of the closer has the longer original arrangement of Caprice Bohemian. Later in the season it was shortened and the Allego from the 3rd Symphony was inserted as the new percussion feature.

Summer Tour

We did a fairly extensive east-coast tour in 1995 and participated in some sort of concert-in-the-park standstill performance with the Cadets.

1995 Phantom Regiment Cadence

 

1995 Phantom Regiment East Coast Standstill – this show has an earlier arrangement of Rachmaninov’s 3rd Symphony – before the notes got watered down on the road to finals.

 

1995 Cadets Cadence

DCI Finals

At finals in Buffalo we recorded the Blue Devils on-field warm-up. It was a variation on their “west coast warm-up” to reflect their Carpe Noctem show:

 

And also America / O Canada – led by the Cavaliers who had been crowned champions that night.

Do you remember?

If you remember any more of the details of this stuff let me know in the comments and I’ll update it. Otherwise, enjoy!

Extras

Here’s another post about Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony. I have a CD that I bought in 1996 of the 4th Ballet Suite (which we played that year), and it also included Shostakovich 10. My regular jam was to gather original recordings of all the music we played in the summer – including concert pieces, etc. I’d listen to those recordings before and during tour to get to know the composer or the piece a little better.

Check out that recording and an interesting comment from the CD liner notes. The password is a 4-letter acronym that holds meaning to Phantom Regiment members and alumni.

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