Montgomery Philharmonic 2016 - 17

Our 11th Season – Inspired by…

Concert 3, February 2, 2017– Inspired by Youth

Strike Up the Band – George Gershwin, arranged by John Whitney (WMHS Band/Orchestra and MP combined)
Instrumentation –
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, mallet percussion, timpani, Percussion 1 – snare drum, bongos, percussion 2 – cymbals, maracas, suspended cymbals, violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass

Composed by George Gershwin (1898–1937), the music of this patriotic, lively American standard from the 1940 hit movie of the same name delights audiences and players alike! The Broadway musical Strike Up the Band was born in 1930 and, by all reports, it bombed. The film version, made by MGM in 1940, however, was a huge hit. The most obvious reason was that it starred 16-year-old Judy Garland, the huge star of The Wizard of Oz, which had been released in 1938. The movie’s theme, “Strike Up the Band,” has been set for many ensembles in different styles.


George Jacob Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. His compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), as well as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).
Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, and Joseph Brody. He began his career by composing Broadway theater works with his brother, Ira Gershwin, and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, but she refused him; while there, he began to compose
An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and the author DuBose Heyward. Originally a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century.
Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a malignant brain tumor.

Gershwin’s compositions have been adapted for use in many films and for television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations. Many celebrated singers and musicians have covered his songs.