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Program Notes

March of the Belgian Paratroopers

march (1945)

Pierre Leemans, composer

Charles A. Wiley, arranger

As the original title, Marche des Parachutistes Belges, indicates, the listener expects to hear a march with a European flavor. The thin scoring and folk song idiom of the first strain soon confirm the European origin. At the trio the same tune reappears as a counter-melody to a smooth-flowing melody.

Leemans wrote the march in 1945 after a dinner with a group of Belgian paratroopers. As their commander, Major Timmerman, drove him home later that night, the march melody came to mind and he finished the other parts after reaching his home. As Leemans explained, "Like all successful music, this tune from my pen as water out of a fountain."

—Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire

INDEX


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