J:10359841:B:The Circus Bee
The Circus Bee
Henry Fillmore/arr. Marc Oliver
- Ayotte Custom Musical Engraving
The Circus Bee is a circus march written by Henry Fillmore of Cincinnati, Ohio in February 1908. Because of its complexity and advanced writing, it is sometimes used as either an opener or an encore piece in band concerts. The Circus Bee was a celebration of sorts for the fact that Henry Fillmore and his father, who managed their publishing business in Cincinnati, finally agreed that the young composer could publish his music "at home", even though it did not meet the elder Fillmore's standard of being religious music. It was during this period of conflict between father and son that Henry, showing defiance to his father for "not repenting" his desire to write marches, reportedly told him, "I will huff and I will puff, and I will continue to write marches." This alleged statement by the younger Fillmore gave birth to one of his many composing pseudonyms, Will Huff. The march is named after an imaginary circus newspaper and reflects Fillmore's lifelong interest in circuses and his varied experiences while touring with five different big top shows where he played the trombone. He was also famous for his many "trombone marches", such as "Bones Trombone", "Teddy Trombone" and the famous "Lassus Trombone", all showcasing the trombone glissando, or "smear", caused by moving the trombone slide in and out while playing the instrument (usually loud).