THE KARL L. KING MUNICIPAL BAND OF FORT DODGE, IOWA acknowledges with great appreciation the significant contributions of DUANE “OLEY” OLSON to the band’s history, heritage and tradition One of the truly great benefits of playing music in the Royal Hawaiian Band is the relationships and friendships we formwith our audience members. One such friendship I have enjoyed over the years is the bond I shared with Duane and Nancy Olsen of Ft. Dodge, Iowa. If Fort Dodge, Iowa rings a bell to you band geeks, it’s because it is the home of the Karl L. King Municipal Band. Nancyplays the clarinet in the band and DuaneRead More →


Here is an essay I wrote about 15 years ago about an event that occurred over 40 years ago. It’s not a piece about a band, but rather about playing in an orchestra. I do hope it’s of interest to percussionists and all musicians for that matter. The Right Triangle When I was still in high school I received my first triangle as a Christmas present from my mother. I knew how Mickey Mantle must have felt when he got his first baseball bat, or Johnny Unitas his first football. My mother didn’t know much about triangles but she always did her research and always boughtRead More →

I‘m hoping this arrangement of “The Thunderer” isn’t blasphemous to you Sousa fans out there. I love the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra.  They were a wonderful big band led by Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan, who were both experienced big band arrangers. They began recording together in 1952, using inventive arrangements that made use of a variety of unusual instruments, including lots of percussion. In March 1957, the pair disbanded the group, and Sauter moved to Germany; Finegan continued as an arranger. They reunited in the studio in 1959 to release a new album, Return of the Doodletown Fifers, and to do jingles for advertisers. After Sauter’s death in 1981, Finegan revived the name Sauter-Finegan OrchestraRead More →

Think of music for the concert or marching band and you immediately think of John Phillip Sousa, Henry Fillmore or Karl L. King. How many of us have cut our musical teeth on the march music of these fine composers.  when we were in high school band, or even in middle school? But think of the hundreds and thousands of other composers who did band music so well.  There are also a number of composer who wrote originally for orchestra, yet their works transcribed quite nicely for the concert band: Leroy Anderson for example or Eric Coates. That being said, I have compiled a listRead More →