In my search for other, lesser-known American composers, who were active between the Civil War, and late 1930's, I discovered the music of Harry J. Lincoln. Lincoln (1878-1937) was a composer of various styles of music, from parlor piano music, which included songs, waltzes, rag-time, and two-steps, to band music.
His effort to become a prominent composer, was not without his fair share of frustration. He had to supplement his income at times, becoming a music salesman, writing tunes for other lyricists, and even joining a publishing company as a staff composer. He, nonetheless, kept writing, and some of his sales were due in fact to the public becoming attracted to the colorful covers used to illustrate the music – a “new” late Nineteenth-early Twentieth Century marketing technique, unheard of in music publishing in earlier times. It's not clear exactly how many pieces he did write, because he used numerous pseudo - names in his career, as was the practice of a number of other composers. He even used the name Carl D Vandersloot – the name Vandersloot taken from the name of the publishing company that he worked for.
A native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Harry J. Lincoln became associated with the Repasz Band, a well-established group which began in 1831. The Repasz Band has an historical place, having both been present at the surrender of Robert E. lee at Appomattox, and the inauguration of various presidents. It is still in existence today, priding itself as one of the
oldest, continuous, non-military bands in the United States. One of Lincoln's best-known pieces is The Repasz Band March.
Lincoln had a fascination with trains and fire, which became the inspiration for some of his pieces. Among his other pieces is The Midnight Fire Alarm, Fire Drill, The Fire Master, The New York Subway, and The Empire Express.
Although, this is originally written for piano, I thought that The False Alarm was perfect for a brass quintet arrangement.
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