"It's a fairly difficult piece and is a
real crowd pleaser," Baker said. "I'm considering making it a signature
piece for the current band." Baker said the composition "moves very
quickly and has a lot of scales in it."
Mary Whitmore, a band member, publicist and
former president of the Nevada County Concert Band, said the music
reminded her of the compositions of John Philip Sousa, the famous
American march composer. "I've played it in rehearsals...and it makes
it even more special that it was composed by someone in our community."
But composing music was just one of the
things B.C. Bridges did. Bridges was a true Renaissance man with various
interests. He was a poet, a short story writer, a pianist, a
clarinetist....with the Grass Valley band....but most importantly, a
stalwart in criminology, with ground-breaking work in finger-printing.
Dissatisfied by the extant texts on the topic in his time, Bridges wrote
a book called "Practical Fingerprinting" in 1942. The book went on to
become one of the bibles in the discipline and Bridges even taught
summer classes in criminology at the University of California, Berkeley.
"He took whatever life gave him and created
something amazing from it," Baker said. "When he wrote this march, he
was only 23. He had so many more things to accomplish later in life.
Just the direction that he went was intriguing."
Dave Bridges, 85, remembers his
father as a very busy man he didn't get to see very much. "He was
always into writing literature...short stories for magazines, poems
and stuff like that," he said. "He did get tuberculosis once and had
to spend two years in an establishment (where patients were treated).
I was in there, and he made up a book of comic sayings and illustrated
the whole thing." Dave does not recollect the father, who died in
1968, delving too much into music. "I saw him play the piano a couple
of times," he said. "He used to play the tin flute sometimes, never
saw him play the clarinet. Maybe he got interested in literature and
other things and put music aside."