American Heritage March
by John Edmondson
Grade 2

John Edmondson received his BA from the University of Florida and his MM in Composition from the University of Kentucky, studying with Kenneth Wright and R. Bernard Fitzgerald.

He taught public school music in the central Kentucky region for ten years, during which he wrote extensively for his own students. At this same time, he was the staff arranger for the University of Kentucky Wildcat Marching Band, and also arranged for several other universities and regional high school marching bands. In addition to freelance composing and arranging, John was a professional trumpet player and pianist, and developed his own educational publishing firm.

Following his teaching career, he became the Educational Editor for Hansen Publications in Miami Beach, Florida, and remained in that position for ten years. He was responsible for hundreds of publications, including works for concert band, marching band, the Fun-Way Band Method (co-authored with Paul Yoder); instrumental solo books and other instructional materials. From there he went to Wisconsin as Director of Concert Band Publications for Jenson Publications, adding several new works to his growing catalog.

John became a freelance writer for seven years, during which time he contributed over three hundred publications to the catalogs of fifteen different publishers. From 1987 – 20001 he and Anne McGinty owned and operated Queenwood publications, which is now a part of the Neil A. Kjos Music Company.

John is a member of ASCAP and is listed in the International “Who’s Who In Music.”

1996—Year of Composition

Publisher—Queenwood Publications

Grade: 2

Type of composition: Middle School Band

Style: March

Programming Suggestions: American Heritage March is based on the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in extended duple time, rather than the more familiar 6/8 compound time. Brief statements of other familiar American patriotic songs, including “America,” “Yankee Doodle,” and “American, the Beautiful,” are used to construct an interlude before the restatement of the march theme. The final statement features a prominent countermelody in the low instruments, and the final chorus is played in a stately Grandioso style.

Solo instruments: None

Anecdotal notes: Melody should always be prominent. Marcato style should be used throughout. Watch dynamics carefully.

Discography: CONCERT BANDS ’96. Queenwood/Kjos Publishing. Q880027.

Recording of "American Heritage March"