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Stadium EchoesPurdue University
Sandwiched between "Boilermaker Fanfare" and "Hail Purdue" are 24 wildly eclectic selections in this remarkable collection by one of the most ambitious and powerful ensembles in American music.
Ambitious, because the Boilermakers clearly want to be America's Band. Why else would 400 players send up such a voluminous and distinctive program, appealing to every age, every musical taste, touching down at random geographical way stations throughout the Western Hemisphere?
Powerful, because these musicians, when they want to, can generate the approximate effect of a few dozen 650-horsepower missiles crossing the starting line at the Indianapolis Speedway-- That same track where the Boilermakers have sounded "Back Home Again in Indiana" to initiate every Indianapolis 500 since before Prohibition.
One thing about Dr. David A. Leppla, the Purdue Band Director: he knows he has an explosive musical arsenal at the tip of his baton. He's determined, every performance, to fire every last bullet. He has harnessed a cadre of gifted arrangers to wring the soaring, full-throated renditions you would expect from "Fighting Varsity" or "South Rampart Street Parade". But if you thought the Boilermakers might back off a bit on contemporary disco fare such as "Beach Boys Medley", you're in for a surprise. So, most assuredly, are the Beach Boys themselves.
It is particularly comforting, in these difficult times, to hear anthems such as "America the Beautiful;" and "Battle Hymn" lofting skyward with the clarity and richness that Dr. Leppla can summon at Purdue. This is music from America's heartland. This is America's music. All right, let's come right out with it.
This is America's Band.
- Jim Gallagher from the liner notes
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