program notes by composition > O > Onward-Upward March

Onward-Upward March

Edwin Franko Goldman/ed. by Edward S. Lisk

Onward-Upward March was written in 1930 during a period when the composer was deeply involved in efforts to standardize concert band instrumentation. Only a few months earlier he had organized the American Bandmasters Association to raise wind and music to a higher standard of artistic excellence and to secure the adaptation of universal instrumentation so that band publications of all countries would be interchangeable. At the time, wind bands contained varying numbers of musicians and instruments and little music was composed specifically for band. The title of this composition reflects optimistic conviction that bands would evolve "onward" to a bright and flourishing future and standardized orchestration would enable "upward" progression of the genre.

Edwin Franko Goldman (1878-1956) was born in Kentucky. His father was an amateur musician and member of the legal profession and his mother was an excellent pianist. When Goldman was nine his father died and it was necessary  for him and his brother to enter the Hebrew Orphan Asylum while their mother established herself as a piano teacher in New York. Goldman earned a scholarship to the National Conservatory of Music and studied under Antonin Dvorak. By seventeen he was a virtuoso cornetist playing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He went on to found the New York Military Band which became the Goldman Band, one of the greatest bands in history. He was a prolific composer with over 100 published marches and many miscellaneous pieces including cornet solos. His personal visits to schools and colleges during his last twenty years helped raise the standards of bands and band music everywhere.

Last updated on April 3, 2012 by Palatine Concert Band