Boys of the Old Brigade (1901)

From Wind Repertory Project
W. Paris Chambers

W Paris Chambers

General Info

Year: 1901
Duration: c. 2:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


D-flat Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Cornet
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Tenor Horn I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Though known mainly as a superb cornet soloist, W. Paris Chambers also was a fine conductor, a good teacher, and a prolific composer. Of his 124 marches, Boys of the Old Brigade is his finest. While it is not known if Chambers had a specific brigade in minds, the title does bring to mind the opening lines of a song that was popular at that time: “Where are the Boys of the Old Brigade who fought with us side by side?”

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

The march was published in 1901 by Carl Fischer while Cambers was employed at the New York store. Chambers may have had a specific brigade in mind in choosing this title but, inasmuch as he had access to a wide variety of music and also enclosed the march title in quotation marks, it is possible that the name was borrowed form an older piece of music. One such tune was composed in 1874 by an Englishman, Odoardo Barri (1844-1920), whose real name was Edward Slater. He wrote the song for a Col. Goodenough to sing at one of the Royal Artillery concerts at Woolwich; a march version was later arranged by W.H. Myddleton.

During the early 1900s the American Al Sweet (who studied cornet with Chambers in New York about 1896) had the members of his White Hussars Band sing a sentimental version of The Boys of the Old Brigade. Although Sweet often joked about how "corny" the ballad was, the close harmony of the male voices sometimes brought tears to the eyes of the listeners. The words begin:

Where are the boys of the Old Bridge,
Who fought with us side by side?
Shoulder to shoulder, and blade by blade,
Fought till they fell and died!

- Program Note from March Music Notes


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer