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