Melody will now take us on a journey from Athens, Georgia to Atlanta, Georgia to meet our next musicians, Hollie and Bernard. Use SG40–42 to meet Hollie and Bernard and prepare your students to learn about the brass ensemble.
Brass ensembles have a long and varied history in the United States, from community brass bands in 19th century New England to the second line tradition in New Orleans. Modern brass instruments were invented in the early 19th century, and by the 1830s, many community bands switched to all brass instruments. By 1850, there were more than 3,000 professional and amateur brass bands in the United States. Every small town had a brass band, and a town the size of Savannah could be expected to have multiple. The most famous composer for bands large and small, John Philip Sousa, was conductor of the U.S. Marine Band and wrote the official national march of the United States, “Stars and Stripes Forever,” which we learn about in Lesson 2.