Almost as soon as the pandemic hit this past spring, Sean J. Kennedy had the idea of recording some rudimental classics with a bunch of friends, virtually. The initial group was composed of brass players and percussionists, which Kennedy called the Rolling Buzzards Brigade as an homage to the musicians who served during the Revolutionary War.
The group’s premier performance of “The Downfall of Paris” featured trumpeter Chris Coletti, horn player Tawnee Lynn, trombonist Nitzan Haroz, and tuba player David Earll. The drummers included Kennedy, Bernie Dresel, Clayton Cameron, David Lu, Dave Nelson, and Chihiro Shibayama. You can watch “The Downfall of Paris” here. An audio version can be heard here.
Due to widespread 4th of July press coverage and a positive reception online to the “Downfall of Paris” video, which was audio-engineered by Andrew Torre and video-edited by Rob Simmons, Kennedy decided on the percussive marathon “Connecticut Halftime” as a next project. Since “Connecticut Halftime” is a rudimental tour de force, Kennedy wanted more drummers involved. So he reached out to percussionists who he knew would know the repertoire. This altered version of the classic has a boosted tempo to make it even more exciting for the online audience, as well as a few changed phrases to match J. Burns Moore’s classic 1940s audio recording.
The drummers featured in “Connecticut Halftime” include Kennedy, Cameron, Lu, Dresel, and Shibayama from the “Downfall of Paris” video, plus Dame Evelyn Glennie, Neil Grover, Sherrie Maricle, John Wooton, Chris Colenari, Heather High-Kennedy, and Gabriel Staznik. You can watch “Connecticut Halftime” here and listen to audio here.