Monday, July 12, 2010

Mike Rossi at the Nova Scotia International Tattoo

Mike is the conductor of UpSwing, Dallas New Horizons and Frisco Jazz Band. Below are pictures of him and the Band of American's Few, a band of ex-marines.

Band of America's Few
The Quantico Marine Band had been a regular performing group for the Nova Scotia International Tattoo since the early 1980's. Literally hundreds of Marine Bandsmen performed in Halifax over the years and it became a coveted assignment to be stationed in Quantico and their experiences were never forgotten. During that period a special affection developed between the citizens of Halifax and the Band resulting in an official proclamation naming the QMB as honorary Nova Scotian's. Not only were they honorary Nova Scotians but they also made life longs friends with the organizers of the Tattoo and countless other people from around the world. Sadly, This relationship ended in 1996 as a result of new policy from the Office of the Secretary of Defense- Public affairs stating that the support of Tattoos were now prohibited. There have been numerous attempts over the years to change the policy from every level that you could imagine but no change was made. Despite the absence of the Marines, the long-standing friendship in Halifax continues to this day. There has been no real American presence in the largest indoor show in North America since.

This past summer in 2009, an opportunity presented itself through a dear friend of Marine Music, to establish and develop a Band of former/retired Marines. Our friend, Guthrie Woods had sponsored other Bands in years past in Halifax, but his expectations (being a professional) were never quite met resulting in the their disbandment. Last summer, I was invited to give some Conducting Master Class Sessions to the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa, ON as a non-paid event. They are the band that plays at the Parliament, (their National Capital) on a daily basis during the summer months . While in Ottawa, a mutual friend and Assistant Director for the Nova Scotia Tattoo suggested they we have breakfast withmy old friend Guthrie. During breakfast, the subject of starting a new Band developed and became the genesis of the “Band of America’s Few”. Guthrie would fund the band and I would develop and Direct the Band as equal partners. Next, a mass e-mail from my Facebook friends list resulted in a flash flood of enthusiastic, motivated former Marines from across the United States. The overwhelming result was that this band was literally built over night. Now months later, there are over three hundred members in the group site and people lined up in case any of the 56 musicians this year can't make it. As a result of two dear friends with a unified vision with complimenting joint assets, the American Flag will fly again in the Metrocentre in Halifax as the "Band of America's Few"!

Matthew Farquhar
Director of Music
Band of America's Few, Inc.

Band of America’s Few Facebook page!/bandofamericasfew?ref=ts

Former/Retired Marine Musicians that are driven to provide the world with a musical group unlike anything that has been done in the past. We are proud to perform music that is traditionally America's and our beloved Corps'! We are the "Band of America's Few!"

Band of America's Few Our mission this year is complete. Lightning does strike twice. When the last note faded, we all looked at each other knowing just what we accomplished. Our history making inaugural year was a complete success. We want to thank again all or fans for the support. We have already been invited back next year!
This was a fantastic experience on many fronts, being with Marines, returning with a band to the Tattoo, and reuniting with old friends (and making lots of new ones). It was the best of times. I'm honored to have been a part of the BAF's inaugural performances.

Steve Butterworth, the Assistant General Manager of the Music Division, as well as Manager of the Band & Orchestral Department at Yamaha Canada Music visits with the leadership, percussion and design team members of the Band of America's Few (BAF) prior to his attendance of the 2010 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Steve will have an opportunity to see and hear the BAF's show with the superior drums Yamaha Canada Music so generously provided.
Happy 4th of July from Halifax. Today "Our Nation" will be honored with the playing of our National Anthem and I have been invited to Conduct it during the Finale of the Nova Scotia Tattoo. What an Honor! The crowds have been going crazy each night during our floor show! Thank you for you continued financial support! ... We are about to top 1800 fans! You guys are awesome!