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Saturday, 23 October 2010 14:52


The Mile High Community Band was recognized as a "Tier III" cultural organization by Denver's metro-area Scientific and Cultural Facility District (SCFD) beginning in 2010. We were delighted to be awarded a check for $4,456 by SCFD - Jefferson County in October 2013!

Many thanks to SCFD, the Jefferson County Cultural Board, and the citizens of metro Denver who contribute 1/10th of 1% in sales taxes to the SCFD program!

We are pleased to join the company of notable institutions such as the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Colorado Symphony in receiving SCFD support.

The Mile High Community Band is an affirmative action/equal opportunity organization and will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender expression, military status, national origin, or disability with respect to employment or services offered.

Friday, 26 March 2010 23:11

We thank 9NEWS and FirstBank for their financial and publicity support of the Colorado Community Band Festival this past summer at Citizens Park in Edgewater!  We had a highly successful event! 

Contact us if you'd like a Band Festival T-shirt (design shown below).  They look great, and they are only $10 -- or free with a $30 donation to the Mile High Community Band.  Don't forget to tell us your shirt size!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 06:26

Colorado Community Band Festival UPDATE 3-17-2010

The event will be taking place at Citizen's Park, 22nd and Benton, in Edgewater,  on Saturday, July 10, 2010, from 10am to 6pm.

Each band that participates will have 20-40 minutes (depending on number of participants) to perform their favorite selections.

If we have eight bands attend, they will have 40 minutes to play, 20 minutes for tear-down and set-up (that's one an hour). If more than 8 "RSVP", then we'll play for 20 minutes, and allow 20 minutes for tear-down and set-up. If we end up doing 20 minute sets, we can have 12 bands play (with 20 minute tear-downs as well). If more than 12 RSVP, we'll shorten the tear-downs and if we need to, we'll move to another location!

Monday, 08 March 2010 05:25

February 26, 2009 © Stephanie Berg Oram

Take the ‘A’ Train

by Billy Strayhorn 1939; Performed by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra 1941; Lyrics by Joya Sherrill 1944

This now-standard became the signature tune of the Ellington orchestra, when it had to abandon its previous one ("Sepia Panorama" according to Wikipedia; "East St. Louis Toodle-oo," according to Gridley1) because of an ASCAP strike (Ellington being a BMI composer). Although Ellington and Strayhorn collaborated on many compositions and arrangements, so closely that it was often difficult to pinpoint the contributions of each; nonetheless, "’Take the "A" Train’ is, however, one of the few solidly credited to Strayhorn"2. Duke’s son Mercer reported that he found the song discarded in the trash after Strayhorn decided it sounded too much like the work of Fletcher Henderson (one of Strayhorn’s heroes). Said Strayhorn, "One day, I was thinking about his style, the way he wrote for trumpets, trombones and saxophones, and I thought I would try something like that. 3" That recording is the ‘classic’ version of the song, in AABA "32-bar song form." After a 4-measure piano vamp, the first chorus has a saxophone melody accompanied by lower brass with trumpet accents. A transition with piano twiddles leads to the second chorus played by muted trumpet with saxophones bubbling in the background. A stunning brass modulation leads to the third chorus played call-and-response style by saxophones and trumpets, with a bridge notable for the four bright brass notes that form a "starburst" chord. The final phrase of that chorus, played by saxes with brass accents, is repeated three times, quieter each time, with piano twiddles in the final repetition and ending with a held chord. Ellington’s arrangements tend to exhibit interesting combinations of timbres, and show off his star soloists to advantage. His own piano playing often (as here) has a delicate touch, despite the solid feel. For the "backup" he arranges adventurously, with thick brassy chords for the modulation to the third chorus, and a stunning brass chord built up note-by-note in the bridge of the final chorus. The band exhibits thorough control of dynamics and tight ensemble throughout.

Thursday, 19 March 2009 15:25

Please see below for program notes on music the Mile High Community Band is playing or has played in the past.

Jazz Band:

March 19, 2009 © Stephanie Berg Oram

"Jumpin’ at the Woodside" by Count Basie

William James Basie (1904-1984) was active as pianist, bandleader, and composer from about age 20 to his death at age 79. His musical training began with his mother, who was a professional pianist. In his hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey, he got his start as a fill-in (playing by ear) for the pianist who didn’t arrive at the vaudeville theater in time for the show. In 1924 he moved to Harlem, where he met many active jazz musicians. He got his first regular job at Leroy’s, where the band usually worked from unnotated "head" arrangements. In 1927, he found himself stranded in Kansas City when the show he was accompanying broke up. After some interim gigs, in 1929 he joined the small Bennie Moten band; it was there that the aristocratic nickname "Count" was bestowed. He became firmly associated with the Kansas City style, and when Moten died in 1935 he was the heir presumptive of the Moten band. The year 1935 saw a reorganization of that band into a nine-member group, the "Barons of Rhythm." Later expanded, it became the Count Basie orchestra. In 1938 they recorded "Jumpin’ at the Woodside" for Decca (Decca 2212, below). He later moved to Chicago and then to New York City.

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About The Band

The Denver Junior Police Band (dba Mile High Community Band) is an affirmative action/equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate against any person or organization based on age, race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, marital status, gender, veteran status, military status, political service, affiliation, or disability.

MHCB, photo by Tera Seville