Pacific Coast (1999)

Duration: approx. 2:30

In 1998 Bandmaster Stephen Hanover invited me to accompany Regent Hall band on their tour of the USA's west coast. The tour incorporated the band taking the guest band role at the annual new year Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, CA. As I recall it the tour took us to places beginning with 'S' such as Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and even Santa Barbara - where I was thrilled to meet then-Captains Ian & Isobel Robinson; the writers of the song He is Exalted.

I mustn't forget, too a rainy day in the  Universal Studios theme park. It was so wet we were pretty much the only ones there and with no queues were able to rejoin rides straight after finishing them. Nice!

 Sample score page
(right-click to download or open in a new window)

Pacific Coast p1.pdf Pacific Coast p1.pdf
Size : 86.452 Kb
Type : pdf

Anyhow, whilst travelling by bus between the various cities I somehow managed to write this march.  I say somehow because as many of you will know, a tour bus is rarely a quiet place. I can't remember if I was dared, bribed or threatened into doing this, but as the bus journeys unfolded I wrote bar after bar and eventually word got around the bus that the march was being written. The inevitable suggestions came in for its title along with themes and tunes to appear within.

Pacific Coast was the final choice of title and on the theme front, a TV show very much in vogue at the time was The Simpsons, thus a few bars of Danny Elfman's fantastic theme made it in to the march, complete with the full band shouting 'doh!'

Once completed, a team of copyists from within the band helped me write the parts for the march and I recall we gave the first performance at Santa Barbara corps.

The tunes contained within are America the Beautiful ('Materna') and Onward Christian Soldiers. There are also references to The Star Spangled Banner, the march Golden Jubilee (M Kippax, AJ13) - standard issue for SA bands on the Rosebowl Parade - and two bars of Disney's It's a small world (after all) near the end.

As I'm sure have guessed from the themes and references within, that the march isn't designed to take itself seriously. However it's those same themes and references which in my mind preclude it from being played by bands other than Regent Hall, let alone be published. 

Pacific Coast was a 'one-off' (some will say 'thank goodness for that') and may not live on outside that 1998-99 tour. Nevertheless it remains an interesting talking point at least. 

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