And now, the Hoover-Schrum Grade School Band of Calumet City, Illinois--and Diane says she didn't gift this to me, so I must have found it in a local thrift. And the sole reference I found on line is this 2016 YouTube post, It gives priceless info on the LP, including the all-important detail: the year (1969). But--and I hate to say it--the YT transfer is over-filtered. Digital filtering can easily remove part of the audio to avoid hiss, and that's a trade-we have to work hard not to make. So, you have two rips to choose from--mine and YT's. (I hate to be critical of someone else's effort, but the YT transfer is a bit overdone.)
I was tempted to sum the left and right channels for mono, but there's very slight stereo happening here, so I kept it. Some privately done LPs have this very type of narrow-width stereo, and I'm not sure how it happens. Maybe it's in the mastering stage, or maybe the microphones are too close when the tape is first rolling. I'm not knocking the sound overall--it's very good, very vivid--but there isn't much stereo. But I didn't want to eliminate the slight depth by going stereo to mono.
The YouTube post mentions the hot temperatures and missing band members, but the band is nonetheless extremely good--preternaturally so, in some places. Listening to this, I had to keep reminding myself that this is a grade school band, especially on Original Dixieland Concerto and the 76 Trombones portion of Music Man. I wonder if the superb trumpet soloist on the Manhattan Tower track went on to a music career.
Why the first part of this holiday concert is made up of non-holiday material, I don't know, but it's highly entertaining--full of variety and surprises. All of it designed, maybe, to put the audience is a festive mode prior to the unleashing of the Xmas numbers. Now, why would "a musical tribute to the uplifting of the spirit of all mankind" use Everything's Coming up Roses as its musical theme? Maybe the song symbolizes the band's successful concert streak that preceded the making of this disc (except the program was arranged prior to that streak, so I guess that can't be). I don't know. Actually, in his closing remarks, conductor Michael Landes recommends Roses as a positive-thinking aid. I can see that--it's an uplifting number. I'm overthinking things.
The remarkable grade school musicianship makes this LP a winner all the way. My 2019 essay took the arrangements and selections to task (while praising the gifted kids), and I must have been in a bad mood, because I find it very pleasing this rip around.
Musicians: A+. Program: A-. A very fun listen.
DOWNLOAD: Hoover-Schrum Grade School Band, c. Michael Landes; 1969
Curtain's Coming Up--Everything's Coming up Roses
Original Dixieland Concerto
Jingle Bells Rhapsody
Hoover-Schrum Grade School Band, c. Michael Landes--Holiday Time--U.S.A. (No label name WFC-859; 1969)