ABOUT THE WORK:
In 1980, while Charles Booker served as Bandmaster
of the 3rd Armored Division, he arranged a melody known to the
soldiers as "Our Third Armored Division Song" for the
use of his band. Documents indicated that the tune was written
in 1944 by Private Chester F. Kowalec of the 33rd Armored Regiment,
and according to surviving members of the Spearhead Division
who had served during WWII, the Division Band and Choir sang
the song at the last mass gathering of the troops at the close
of the war. In 1996, Booker composed new material to serve as
the opening of the march, placing his 1980 setting of "Our
Third Division Song" in the position of honor as the march's
The introduction to GUNS UP! quotes "Adjutant's
Call" played by the trumpets, trombones, and euphoniums
in octaves. The first strain, being more grand and lyrical, contrasts
from the second strain which is more lively and vigorous. With
a sudden shift of tonal center, the introduction to the Trio
begins with a quote from the bugle call "To the Colors"
which is often performed in place of the National Anthem. The
melody of the trio is played first by the clarinets and saxophones,
with the flutes, oboes, horns and trumpets joining later. A repeat
of the melody, scored for the full band, features a strong bugle-like
counter melody in the saxes and horns. A contrapuntal fanfare
for the brass climaxes in a modulation leading to the final statement
of the melody, scored in grandiose style, using the same arrangement
that the military bands of today use when performing the 3rd
Armored Division Song during their Pass in Review.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER:
Charles L. Booker, Jr., is Chair of the Music
Department, Associate Professor and Director of Bands at the
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. He is a composer, and former
U.S. Army Bandmaster, and received his undergraduate degree from
the New York University, his Masters in Conducting from the University
of Texas at San Antonio, and completed courses for Texas teacher
certification in secondary music from Texas State University.
His compositions are published by Alfred, Kendor, Bravo Music,
and Southern Music Company.
Mr. Booker's career in the U.S. Army included
service as an arranger for the Army Field Band, performer and
conductor of Army Bands in Louisiana, Germany, New York City,
and director of the Jazz Ambassadors in Washington, D.C. As a
trumpeter with the Fifth Army Band, Mr. Booker performed for
the funerals of Presidents Truman and Johnson. In 1981, as the
conductor of the 3rd Armored Division Band in Germany, Mr. Booker
participated at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in the welcoming ceremonies
for the returning American hostages from Iran. In New York City,
he conducted the Army Band of New York City at ceremonies for
heads of state of the United States, Germany, France, Netherlands,
Portugal and China, and his band performed at the centennial
activities of the Statue of Liberty.
While as an associate conductor of the Army
Field Band, Mr. Booker performed in the inauguration parades
of Presidents George H. W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton.
He was Interim Director of Bands at Trinity University from 1996
to 1997 and assistant editor at Southern Music Company from 1994
to 1997. In 1999, Mr. Booker was appointed
Director of Band Activities at the University of Arkansas - Fort
Smith, and in 2004, he was appointed Chair of the Music Department.