The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa

The 2009 Indoor Concert Series

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2009 Karl L. King Band Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa
February 15, 2009

The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa began its 2009 season with a concert held on Sunday, February 15th in the Decker Auditorium at Iowa Central Community College.  The band is directed by Jerrold Jimmerson with Dan Cassady serving as assistant conductor and Duane (Oley) Olson is the band's announcer.

Karl King was born on February 21, 1891 and the February concert traditionally honors his memory by playing a concert featuring his compositions.  This year, 2009, also marks the 100th anniversary of King's first success as a published composer with compositions accepted by three separate publishers.  While there is some controversy over which selection was the very first to be published and by whom, the best evidence  is that three marches published by William Strassner, King's band director in Canton, Ohio, rightly deserve that honor.  One of these, Greater Canton, dedicated to Strassner, opened  the concert. That march was followed by another 1909 publication, Carrollton, dedicated to Ira S. Moody, tuba soloist in the neighboring town band of Carrollton, Ohio.   This march was the first King composition to be published by the C. L. Barnhouse Co. of Oskaloosa,  Iowa.  Barnhouse not only became King's major publisher, but also a life long friend.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Glover

The February program was the annual Karl King Birthday Concert.
Barnhouse Publishing Company of Oskaloosa, Iowa, celebrated Karl King's birthday with this cake.

View mpg video clips of several Karl King tunes
(fast internet suggested because of large file sizes)

Carrollton March - (50 mb)      Golden Dragon - (with baritone solo - 34 mb)      Walking Frog - (25 mb)

Moonlight on the Nile - (23 mb)      Emporia Galop - (31 mb)

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The Golden Dragon is an overture of circus themes, ranging from beautiful lyrical solo passages to exciting climactic descriptions of the circus acts.   The Golden Dragon itself, was a Barnum and Bailey band wagon, a beautiful green behemoth with a fierce golden dragon decorating the sides.  This overture was a favorite of King's and is considered to be one of his best works.

The only non-King Composition on the program was a march by G. H. Huffine, entitled The Last Word.  Huffine is best known for his march Them Basses, and this march unfortunately has been all but forgotten.  King and Huffine were friends, and King published several of Huffine's works, including this march.  The dedication is to Karl L. King and the Karl L. King Band.

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Several of the other selections on the program reveal not only the quality of King's work but the versatility.  A trumpet duet in polka style featured  Tim Miller and David Swaroff on trumpets.  Assistant conductor Dan Cassady conducted a rag-time piece, The Walking Frog, written for the Barnum and Bailey circus clown act of Baker and Dalzell who dressed as frogs for their comedy act.  Another 1909 publication was the waltz, Moonlight On The Nile, a preview of the many circus waltzes King would write in the future.

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The second of King's three publishers in 1909 was the Roland F. Seitz Company of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.  Among several selections copyrighted by Seitz at the same time was a dirge, Our Last Farewell.  The band chose this number not only as one of King's earliest publications, but to honor several past band members that had passed away during the past year.

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No program featuring the music of Karl King would be complete with out one of his famous circus galops and this concert's feature was Emporia.  The title reflects  back to King's first trouping experience when he left home to join Robinson's Famous Shows in the Kansas town of Emporia, only to find that the circus had been run out of town by the law.  The experience left an indelible impression on King and when he returned to the town later, he wrote and dedicated this galop.

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After playing  many of King's earliest published works, the final march on the program was one of King's last compositions, written to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the C. L. Barnhouse Co. in 1961.  Diamond Jubilee is a composite of seven of King's most famous march melodies, and interestingly, is the only selection written by King in the concert march style with a grandiose ending.

The concert concluded with the playing of the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

St. Patrick's Day Program photos


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