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The Mellocast -- Year One


The Pod Cast reaches its first anniversary

Queens, New York, March 1, 2008 Ė Al Perkins has a very good soul. Never shying away from a project, Al created an important web reference for historians and fans of the mellophone and itís close cousin the tenor horn. Additionally, Al is a noted playwright and performer. His works have received recognition and are routinely performed by regional theaters throughout the East Coast. Of course, Al has also obtained a successful career in the information technology world.

  This is Al Perkins, master of the steel guitar and dobro (alperkinsmusic.com). However, this particular Al Perkins has likely never even heard of the mellophone.

One of Alís creations is celebrating its first year anniversary next month. The Mellocast (mellocast.com) was formed in early April 2007 to serve as an audio record of all things related to the mellophone. Its history, its present, and its future have been the subject of no less than 39 episodes in eleven months featuring introspectives, interviews, product reviews, and general conversations about all things mellophone.

I learned of the project directly from Al who contacted me in March 2007 to see if I would be interested in participating. At the time I was aware of Al through his Web Site. I happily placed a link from the middlehornleader.com to Alís site and noticed a reciprocal gesture shortly afterwards.

Hearing the passion Al has for the mellophone and its usage made the decision to participate in the weekly endeavor an easy one.

  This is the real Al Perkins. He's heard of the dobro, but has instead chosen the path of the middle horns.  

For most Wednesday evenings since April 2007, Al has fired up his Skype account and coordinated time with guests and regular contributors Mark Taylor and Scooter Pirtle to capture a portion of the strange, somewhat maniacal energy that encompasses the mellophone experience.

Over the past eleven months, listeners have heard from a well-respected mouthpiece maker (Karl Hammond), performers from drum corps and Blast! (Paula Hyman, Jeff Freelin, Griffin Gunter), filmmakers who have featured marching units (Doug Lantz), a noted drum corps arranger and caption head, a respected horn instructor who has studied the modern use of the mellophone and authored a book on the subject (Dr. John Ericson), and conversations with recurring panelist about all things mellophone.



So, this article is a celebration of the creation of one person. The mellocast epitomizes the strange energy that seems to reside in those who chose to perform with the horn of scorn. If youíve been a listener of the pod cast during itís first year, thank you! If you havenít yet taken a listen, I enthusiastically invite you to take a few minutes to try it out.

Congratulations Al for devoting your talent and energy to a worthy cause. The mellophone couldn't have a better advocate!

-Scooter Pirtle (email)