“Author Archive”
Stories written by Frank Dorritie
Frank Dorritie is one of the legends of the activity .... a performer, instructor, arranger, adjudicator, and observer over the past 5 decades. Frank has been playing the bugle and trumpet since the 1960s, and has performed with artists like Billy Cobham and Maynard Ferguson. He has instructed and/or arranged for the Blue Devils, Cadets, Santa Clara Vanguard, Cavaliers, Chesterton and Tenri High Schools, the Bushwackers, Bridgemen and a host of others. His audio production honors include 9 Grammy Nominations, 2 Grammy Awards and membership in both the World Drum Corps and Buglers Halls of Fame. He is active internationally as a clinician and adjudicator, holds the DCA Soprano/Trumpet/Tenor Individual titles for 2003, 2005 and 2006. Frank also chairs the Department of Recording Arts at Los Medanos College. His popular brass method book, “Power and Endurance”, is available from Xtremebrass.com. The opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of the author.

Inside the Arc – “Myron and Vincent”

Myron and Vincent

Were it not for a controversial 1980 mid-season programming change, Myron might very well have gone on to become a noted horn soloist and possible brass guru. Dave Barduhn, Ralph Hardimon and Fred Sanford had penned an extraordinary arrangement of “Caravan” for SCV, which featured a solo for French Horn. There was little debate as […]

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Inside the Arc – The Veterans’ Bequest

US Army Bugle Corps, c.1925

One day in the fall of 1960, an older gentleman handed a shiny chrome bugle to a 13 year old and showed him how to hold it properly. The youngster already knew a few calls, but had never been this close to a bugle with a valve.

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Inside the Arc – “Flags of our Fathers”

CSA "Bonny Blue" flag. From the author's personal collection.

Somewhere among my mother’s long-ago stored effects there is a photograph of a 3 year old boy, standing on a sidewalk in New York as a parade passes by, waving a small American flag, an expression of pure joy on his face. That boy was me and, though I do not recall the details, I […]

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Inside the Arc – “The Gods Must Be Crazy”

Danish "Half Moon" bugle from the Hanoverian Period c.1814 - (Reenactor photo from the author's private collection)

Big G: “Behold, you are all my peeps. Now go forth and get along with each other.” Crazy G 1: “But they are all different. You can’t expect that.” Big G: “Actually, I can. I Am Who Am, after all. Besides, they are all the same, in essence. They’ll figure it out.” Crazy G 2: […]

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Inside the Arc – His Name was Clark

Clark Terry - 3 Faces

His name was Clark, and he wanted more than anything else to play a horn and make sounds like the ones he was hearing on the radio every time he walked home from school past the barber shop, where the men laughed, smoked and told stories about “The Great War”.

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Inside the Arc – “To Key, or Not To Key”

Royal Kent Bugle made by Cowlan, Manchester, UK, c. 1830
Owned by author
Restored by Robb Stewart
Photo by Robb Stewart

-being a short anthropology of the bugle, more or less- The following is a Fractured Fairy Tale, though many of the details are absolutely true. As for the rest… As dawn broke in a boreal woods long, long ago, a drowsy Neanderthal trudged out of the brush and promptly tripped over an old Triceratops skull. […]

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Inside the Arc – “The Art of the Gift”

Joe Montanaro

On a beautiful summer day 69 years ago, a young Joe Montanaro took some of his buddies for a short boat cruise. They bobbed in a channel for a time and then headed straight for the opposite shore. When they crested the breakers there was much shouting and anticipation, but this was no ordinary beach […]

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Inside the Arc – “The DAO of SNARENESS”

1972 Santa Clara Vanguard - Curt More, center snare
from the author's collection

My friend Curt Moore, drummer with the extraordinary Latin/Jazz group Soul Sauce, was in an earlier life the lead stick in the Santa Clara line of the early’70s and subsequently a top-gun instructor and DCI adjudicator. He has played with Grammy nominees, written books, created videos and conducted clinics and seminars in the US and […]

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Inside the Arc – “Annapolis Time Tripping”

Annapolis Drum & Bugle Corps
Photo Courtesy of the Eastport Civic Association

Now that I think about it, the whole episode unfolds like a slick Hollywood script, except it really happened. If you doubt it, just ask the others. They were there, too. It’s the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, that most excellent event that stretches summer by one more glorious day. This time holds special meaning […]

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Off the Record
Fleetwood Reloaded

OffTheRecord Feature Image

In this episode of Off the Record, Frank visits with Glenn Kubacki of Fleetwood Sounds and explores a number of great recordings from the Fleetwood collection, including: 49th Parallel – Scout House 66 World Open – Troopers 66 Dream – Royal Airs 67 American Legion Nationals – Boston 1971 World Open – Anaheim Kingsmen Enjoy! […]

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