Program Notes for Bombasto March

Composer: Orin R. Farrar (O.R. Farrar)
Arranger: David P. Miller
Published by: Silver Clef Music Publishing, Inc.
Year: 1895, arr. 2012

Orin R. Farrar was a marching band director and composer, more than 100 years ago.

Farrar was born in Indianapolis in 1866. At age 19, Farrar enrolled in an Ohio music school, studying theory, composition, and cornet playing. Following graduation, he taught brass instruments and conducted the Dana Musical Institute band in Warren, OH for 7 years. He resigned from Dana in 1896 to organize the Indiana State University Band, which he led for two years. He then returned to Ohio to form the Ohio State Band (unrelated to Ohio State University). He moved to Youngstown, Ohio in 1901, where he led the Youngstown Military Band. In 1915, he conducted the Lima, Ohio Municipal Band.

The final years of Farrar’s life remain a mystery. He is thought to have died in California in 1929, but this is undocumented.

As a march composer, Orin R Farrar is most remembered for several tunes, one of which you are about to hear. Bombasto found an enduring place in the circus band repertoire, as well as in the libraries of municipal bands throughout America.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Orion R. Farrar’s delightful circus march, Bombasto.

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