Sounds of the Band
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CDs are available from the Regimental Band.
In 1918, the U.S. Department of Education appointed a committee of eminent individuals to standardize the Star Spangled Banner. This version, arranged by John Philip Sousa, has been used at all Academy Ceremonies since 1943.
Henry Russell was born in England in 1812 but spent much of his life in America. When Russell was asked about the work's origin, he stated: "It was composed some 60 years ago whilst in America. The origin of the song emanated from Epps Sargent, the poet, walking with him on the Battery in New York City, watching the ships in the harbour. The view from the Battery inspired Sargent to write the words for a song. I set them to music and the song ultimately became one of the most popular in England and America." This march, with it's close associations with New York, the home state of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, has been used as the unofficial signature song of the Regimental Band since 1970.
The Armed Forces medley is performed in honor of the many Academy graduates who serve, and have served, in all branches of our nation's armed forces as both career and reserve officers. Part of the USMMA Armed Forces medley is "Heave Ho," the official march of the U.S. Maritime Service. This march was composed during World War II by LTJG Jack Lawrence, USMS. Including "Heave-Ho" in the Armed Forces medley is in tribute to the 6,000 veterans of the U.S. Merchant Marine who served in the submarine infested icy waters during W.W.II to deliver supplies to the Allied effort. Only in 1988 did these brave Mariners receive their proper recognition by being granted official "Veteran Status."
Walter P. English was a talented tuba player who spent most of his life playing in circus bands including the Barnum & Bailey Circus Band. He dedicated this march to Karl L. King, who was bandmaster first of the Sells Floto Circus and later the Barnum & Bailey Circus before settling down for a long and active life in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Merle Evans loved this march and used it for wild animal and elephant acts. The second strain is a "tour de force" for trombone and lower brass players.
The "Stars and Stripes Forever" became our "National March" on December 11, 1987, when President Reagan signed the Congressional legislation. In the recording the famous piccolo solo is played twice. However, the second time it is played by Midshipman Jeffery Hurley of San Antonio, Texas on the TUBA!
"Oh, Stately, strife born Alma Mater the sound flows softly at thy feet and sunset strikes across its waters as silver notes invoke retreat. Now dim the paths and trees in darkness. The stars above our way appoint. We'll Sleep secure aboard 'til morning. God steer the well, Kings Point!"
We're moving down the field to victory
Men of the Grey and Blue
We've got the ball, our opponents must fall,
So hit' em hard, hit' em hard
RAH, RAH, RAH,
We'll raise a banner to the Mariners
Victors on land and sea.
Gridiron men of the Merchant Marine.
Its a Kings Point Victory.
RAH, RAH, RAH!!!!!
This arrangement of these two moving songs places a lone bugler away from the band. The two echo each other back and forth, finally fading away into the night, just as Taps does each evening.