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Ignore, if you can, the fact that the Purdue University Band is one of the most famous college musical organizations in the country.
Don't be influenced by the celebrity generated by the nearly 40 years of Golden Girls, the World's Largest Bass Drum, or the band's 800 performances in New York's Radio City Music Hall. Never mind the celbrated Girl in Black, the Silver Twins, or the twirling line known as the Rockettes of the Gridiron.
You might not even care that the Boilermakers have come to be known throughout the college musical community as the "All-American" Marching Band.
The fact is that the band stands supremely on its own as a grand entertainment force around its home base of West Lafayette, Indiana and in concert halls and football stadiums throughout the country. Director David Leppla has a rich appreciation for the role as keeper of a great tradition at Purdue, but he also knows that the band's reputation is only as good as the next appearance.
What's the best part of this collection? For Boilermaker red-hots, Side 1 is a rapid-fire selection of school classics, beginning with Purdue Fanfare and concluding with Tuba Cadence and Band Cheer ,a flippant reminder that the Purdue Band, for all its tradition and present-day stature, does not take itself with undue seriousness.
Side 2 is an extraordinary compendium of martial music (Star Spangled Banner, I Am an American, National Emblem) and an eclectic mix of jazz and Hollywood tunes (Sing, Sing, Sing, Star Wars, Dragnet and Peter Gunn).
So--enjoy today's Purdue University Marching Band. Who cares that the Boilermakers revolutionized the halftime show industry back in 1907, when the first bandsmen broke ranks and formed letters on the field? This is an amazing music-making machine, right here and now.
History will have to wait.
- Jim Gallagher - from the liner notes
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