Henry Fillmore

  • James Henry Fillmore, Jr. was born in Cincinnati on December 3, 1881 into a family of composers and publishers of religious music. A somewhat incorrigible boy, he was bored with church music. He preferred more exciting music such as that used in circuses. In fact, her ran off with circuses at least three times. This caused no small amount of consternation in the family, which had a dignified English-American bearing (he was a second cousin, twice removed, of President Millard B. Fillmore), so he received much of his education in a military school.

    He graduated from the Miami Military Institute in 1901. Frustrated at being unable to influence the Fillmore Brothers to branch into the publication of band music, he left home. He married his secret sweetheart Mabel Jones, a vaudeville dancer, and joined the Lemon Brothers circus as a trombone player. He returned to Cincinnati and the publishing company after one season, but it was several years before the family accepted Mabel.

    Gradually, Henry persuaded his father and uncles to publish more band music. The firm eventually became a leading band house, primarily because the music of Henry Fillmore and his seven aliases had become very popular. Another factor was his expertise as an arranger and editor.

    Meanwhile, he was heavily involved with bands in the Cincinnati area. Under his leadership, the Syrian Temple Shrine Band became America’s finest fraternal band. Industrialist Powell Crosley enticed him to organize a professional band, and it, too, achieved widespread fame through broadcasts over the powerful radio station WLW. One novel feature of the programs was Henry’s exceptional dog, Mike the “radio hound,” who barked at predetermined spots in the music.

    Henry’s music was now being played by bands throughout North America and abroad, and his intense schedule as composer, arranger, music editor, and conductor began to take its toll. In his late fifties, he developed a serious heart problem. Doctors told him his life expectancy would be less than one year unless he retired. They also suggested that he move to a warmer climate.

    He moved to Miami with the expectation of living only a short time. However, he was revived by the Florida sunshine and lived almost two more decades. Much of his renewed energy could be attributed to a new life as mentor of school musicians throughout the state of Florida. He loved the kids, who adopted him universally as their “Uncle Henry.”

    His activities in the music education field soon became a serious commitment. One of his old friends was John J. Heney, a noted former percussionist of Sousa’s band, who was obsessed with raising the level of school bands in Florida. Together they traveled about the state encouraging school officials to start bands. The end result of their extraordinary promotional efforts was the creation of three dozen new high school bands.

    An especially loving relationship developed between Henry and the band at the University of Miami. He was named “permanent guest conductor” and accompanied the band on trips, including three to Central America. In appreciation of his concern – and his generosity – the university awarded him with an honorary doctorate.

    Despite the warnings of doctors, Henry became even more active in the band movement. He was elected president of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and held the organization together through the years of World War II when travel was restricted. And he seldom passed up a chance to be present at functions of the Florida Bandmasters Association.

    As might be expected, he paid the price for not heeding his doctor’s advice. After being weakened by a series of illnesses, the big heart of Henry Fillmore finally gave way. He died peacefully in his sleep on December 7, 1956. His body was cremated, and his ashes were interred with those of his beloved Mabel at the Woodlawn Park Cemetery in Miami.

    The band world had lost a giant, but his music will live as long as there are bands to play it. Benefiting most from his legacy was the University of Miami Band, to which he bequeathed most of his estate. The Henry Fillmore Band Hall with its Fillmore Museum is a symbol of that legacy.


  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
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    Band Compositions
    CB142 136th U.S.A. Field Artillery CB142 2:22 Concert Band
    CB129 (We’re) Men Of Florida CB129 Concert Band
    FPS68 Aline
    March
    FPS68 Concert Band
    CB113 Americans We CB113 Concert Band
    YBS33 Americans We (March) YBS33 2:15 Concert Band
    R1524 Americans We March R1524 Marching Band
    CB125 The Circus Bee CB125 Concert Band
    CB120 The Crosley March CB120 Concert Band
    CB124 The Footlifter CB124 Concert Band
    YBS40 The Footlifter YBS40 1:55 Concert Band
    R68 The Footlifter (March) R68 Marching Band
    CB134 Gifted Leadership (March) CB134 Concert Band
    CB128 Golden Friendships CB128 Concert Band
    CB127 His Excellency CB127 Concert Band
    CB112 His Honor CB112 Concert Band
    CFD6 His Honor CFD6 Concert Band
    YBS1 His Honor YBS1 2:20 Concert Band
    CB118 His Honor
    (March)
    CB118 Concert Band
    XPS7 His Honor
    (March)
    XPS7 2:00 Concert Band
    R45 His Honor (March) R45 3:15 Marching Band
    CB132 King Karl King CB132 Concert Band
    CB117 The Klaxon CB117 Concert Band
    PBS28 The Klaxon PBS28 2:48 Concert Band
    CB146 The Klaxon
    (March)
    CB146 2:14 Concert Band
    R1242 Lassus Trombone R1242 2:12 Marching Band
    20305 Lassus Trombone 20305 5:00 Solo trombone.; 1 1 2 1, 2A.Sax., Ten. Sax. – 2 2 3 0; Perc. Str.
    YBS14 Lassus Trombone (March) YBS14 1:40 Concert Band
    CB143 Lightning Fingers CB143 4:04 Concert Band
    CB131 Man Of The Hour CB131 Concert Band
    CB136 Men Of Ohio
    March
    CB136 Concert Band
    YBS61 Men Of Ohio (March) YBS61 1:45 Concert Band
    CB130 Miami CB130 Concert Band
    R1407 Military Escort March R1407 Marching Band
    CB121 Noble Men CB121 Concert Band
    CB133 North-South College All Stars CB133 Concert Band
    CB126 The Orange Bowl CB126 Concert Band
    CB148 Our Own Red, White and Blue
    March and One Step
    CB148 1:48 Concert Band
    CFD1 A Perfect Union CFD1 51:55 Concert Band
    CB135 The President’s March CB135 Concert Band
    R52 Reveille (Harmonized)/The Star-Spangled Banner (The Trumpeting Arrangement) R52 Marching Band
    CB115 Rolling Thunder CB115 Concert Band
    CB147 Rolling Thunder
    (March)
    CB147 1:26 Concert Band
    CB122 Shoutin’ Liza Trombone CB122 Concert Band
    PBS18 Shoutin’ Liza Trombone PBS18 2:50 Concert Band
    20306 Teddy Trombone 20306 5:00 Solo tbn.; 1 1 2 1 – 2 2 1 0; 3Perc. Str.
    CB144 Teddy Trombone
    A Brother to Miss Trombone
    CB144 2:42 Concert Band
    CB137 Troopers Tribunal
    March
    CB137 Concert Band
    CB145 The U.S. of A. Armed Forces
    Review March
    CB145 2:55 Concert Band
    CB138 The Victorious First
    March
    CB138 2:40 Concert Band
    CFD4 Vigor CFD4 Concert Band
    Band Arrangements
    CB119 Light Cavalry
    Overture(arr.)
    CB119 Concert Band
    CB123 Morning, Noon and Night In Vienna
    (Overture)(arr.)
    CB123 Concert Band
    CB54 Poet and Peasant (Overture)(arr.) CB54 Concert Band
    Solo
    FL231 Ham Trombone FL231 Trombone, Piano
    FL660 Henry Fillmore’s Lassus Trombone FL660 Trombone, Piano
    FL280 Lassus Trombone FL280 Trombone, Piano
    FL290 Lucky Trombone FL290 Trombone, Piano
    Chamber Music
    CFD2 Landmarks CFD2 Winds
    FL662 Bull Trombone FL662 :00:00 Brass Quintet
    FL663 Lassus Trombone FL663 Brass Quintet
    FL661 Sally Trombone FL661 :00:00 Brass Quintet
    FH0284 Lassus Trombone FH0284 :00:00 Flute Ensemble
    Books
    O5321 14 Best-Selling Pieces From The Band Series O5321 Flute
    JB40 Andrew Balent March Spectacular JB40 Concert Band
    JB47 Andrew Balent March Spectacular JB47 Concert Band
    JB41 March Spectacular JB41 Concert Band
    JB45 March Spectacular JB45 Tenor I
    JB46 March Spectacular JB46 Concert Band
    JB32 March Spectacular JB32 Concert Band
    JB33 March Spectacular JB33 Flute
    JB34 March Spectacular JB34 Oboe
    JB35 March Spectacular JB35 Concert Band
    JB36 March Spectacular JB36 Concert Band
    JB37 March Spectacular JB37 Concert Band
    JB39 March Spectacular JB39 Concert Band
    JB42 March Spectacular JB42 Trumpet I
    JB43 March Spectacular JB43 Trumpet II
    JB44 March Spectacular JB44 Horn
    JB49 March Spectacular JB49 Percussion
    JB50 March Spectacular JB50 Concert Band
    WF41 More March Melodies WF41 Alto Saxophone
    JB48 Old Comrades JB48 Tuba
    WF39 Playing With The Band – Classics WF39 Flute
    WF40 Playing With The Band – Classics WF40 Clarinet
    WF42 Playing With The Band – Classics WF42 Trumpet
    WF43 Playing With The Band – Classics WF43 Tenor
    O5320 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5320 Concert Band
    O5322 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5322 Oboe
    O5323 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5323 Clarinet I
    O5324 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5324 Clarinet II
    O5325 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5325 Alto Clarinet
    O5326 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5326 Bass Clarinet
    O5327 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5327 Alto Saxophone
    O5328 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5328 Tenor Saxophone
    O5329 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5329 Baritone Saxophone
    O5330 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5330 Trumpet, Cornet
    O5331 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5331 Concert Band
    O5332 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5332 Horn
    O5333 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5333 Tenor I
    O5334 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5334 Tenor II, Euphonium, Bassoon
    O5335 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5335 Euphonium
    O5336 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5336 Tuba
    O5337 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5337 Percussion I
    O5338 Sounds Spectacular Band Folio O5338 Percussion II

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