So…before we announce the 2005 Phantom Regiment production, let’s put some closure to 2004 and come clean on the meaning of “874” in last season’s show title.

“Apasionada 874 – The Music of Astor Piazzolla” was the title we chose to give theme to the music selected for 2004. Astor Piazzolla was an
Argentinean composer who wrote some of the most eclectic, passionate and profound melodies of this century. He blended Argentinean cultural music – most often tango – into symphonic, jazz and classical structures. The technical demand, the passion and the range of emotions fit perfectly with Regiment’s style. By season’s end, this show stood shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the great Phantom Regiment productions of the past 30 years.

OK, so…what’s “874” got to do with it? Well, we’ll tell you.

Nothing. Means nothing at all.

Just consider it an “inside joke” from the design team, if you will. Kept well hidden all season, even members and the director were kept guessing as to it’s significance. Did it signify August 7th, the day of DCI finals? Did it signify August, 1974, the month and year Regiment first made DCI finals? All good guesses, all interesting coincidences, but no. The fact is, “874” simply has no meaning.

Here’s the story from program coordinator Dan Farrell: “Having “Apasionada” as a title just seemed a little too abrupt. We noticed that Piazzolla often tagged a few digits onto titles of his compositions, so we pondered some relevant digits for us to use. We wanted to make sure the number had no actual meaning. JD (brass arranger JD Shaw) pulled a number out of the air – 847. We nixed that number because it was the area code of the hotel in which we had our design meeting. (Editor’s note: The design meeting that weekend was held at a hotel near Chicago’s O’Hare airport – in Rosemont, for those that enjoy irony!) His response was “OK, 874!” We went with it. “Apasionada 874 – the Music of Astor Piazzolla” seemed to roll off the tongue quite easily, so there it was.

“We thought we’d let it be our inside joke”, Farrell continues, “It was fun to hear all the speculation and explanations. We promised the members we’d tell them what it truly meant at the end of the season, and we did just that on the morning of Finals in Denver. Even the corps director and Board members were kept guessing until then!”

So, there ya’ have it. A catchy name for a great show and a fun bit of trivia for future “Did you know that…?” conversations.

By the way, have you noticed the great sale prices at Regiment’s on-line store?

Coming soon: The 2005 production announcement.