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Invercargill March

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Alex Lithgow

Alex Lithgow

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General Info

Year: 1901 / 1909
Duration: c. 2:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Brass band
Publisher: W.H. Paling and Co.
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Invercargill March is a march written by Alex Lithgow and named after his home town of Invercargill, on the South Island of New Zealand.

The Invercargill rates alongside John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, The, Kenneth J Alford's Colonel Bogey, and Johann Strauss's Radetsky March as one of the most popular in the world. It is especially popular in the United States, being a top favourite of the U.S. Marines. It was the regimental march of the 56th Infantry Regiment of the New York Guard during World War II.

In his book Invercargill - 150 Years, Lloyd Esler's opening sentence reads "Invercargill was done a fine favour by Alex Lithgow who named his famous march after his boyhood home. The Invercargill March is possibly the best advertisement the town has ever had as the work is a brass-band favourite and the word 'Invercargill’ is whispered amongst audiences worldwide. There is only one Invercargill in the world - this one".

It was originally written in 1901 by Alex Lithgow as a jig type tune for symphonic band. No research can find if that tune had a name but it was known to be rejected in that format by a publisher. When [the city of ] Invercargill hosted the national brass band contest in 1909, Alex’s brother Tom asked for a test piece for the contest and Alex offered this piece (re arranged). On the music he wrote:

To Invercargill, the Southernmost City in New Zealand (End of the World), and its Citizens, I dedicate this March as a momento of the many pleasant years spent there in my boyhood.

That rearrangement commenced in 1908 and [was] tested out at a rehearsal that year in Bathurst NSW. It was sent to his brother Tom in Invercargill for comment and changes were made before it was finally sent to Invercargill in 1909 and first played publicly at Rugby Park Invercargill on 3rd November 1909 by the massed bands at the national New Zealand Brass Band contest.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, Calif.) Band (Michael L. Wirgler, conductor) - 20 July 2014
  • Air Force Band of the Golden West (Jason S. Plosch, conductor) - 3 April 2013 (ACB’s 35th Annual Convention (San Ramon, Calif.))

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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