Tune of the Day: Entrance of the Gladiators
This is actually a military march composed in 1897 by the Czech composer Julius Fučík. He originally titled it “Grande Marche Chromatique”, reflecting the use of chromatic scales throughout the piece, but eventually changed the title based on his personal interest in the Roman Empire.
In 1910 Canadian composer Louis-Philippe Laurendeau arranged “Entrance of the Gladiators” for a small band under the title “Thunder and Blazes”, and sold this version throughout North America. It was during this period that the song gained lasting popularity as a screamer march for circuses, often used to introduce clowns.