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Back Home In Indiana
Shortly after World War I, the Purdue University Marching Band appeared at the Indianapolis "500" and, immediately before the race, played "Back Home in Indiana". Thus began a Middle American tradition as enduring as the famed brickyard itself.
During recent years, the Speedway rendition of "Back Home", played by the band and sung by TV star Jim Nabors, has become recognized throughout the world as one of the most stirring moments in sports.
Although it's not easy being an All-American Marching Bandsman these days, Purdue audiences have become accustomed to the best in jazz, pop, military marches and classics. They want their programs fresh and exciting - demands well understood by the band director Dr. David A. Leppla. He has responded with nearly 400 skilled and motivated musicians and some spectacular arrangements by John Wasson and John Tatgenhorst.
For this album, Dr. Leppla has reached even further, John Harner, former trumpet soloist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, is featured in the haunting "Send in the Clowns", and shares the solo spotlight with James Earl II in "Malaga. And yes, percussion enthusiasts, the World's Largest Bass Drum is prominently on display, hammered compelingly in the exotic "El Salon Mexico".
Finally, it's important to note the recorded debut of "The Purdue Hymn" as the university's alma mater. It was only last year that trustees bestowed official recognition on this famous anthem, which may come as a surprise to generations of students and alumni who always thought it was the real thing.
So come on back home to Indiana. It's a trip replete with melodic surprises and good old American nostalgia - particularly when the tour guide is the Purdue University All-American Marching Band.
- Jim Gallagher - from the liner notes
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