Mangum and Company Shout Band

With its sousaphone and baritone, the trombone-based shout band is an integral part of the worship services of the United House of Prayer, an African-American Pentecostal denomination found in urban and rural areas along the East Coast from Boston, Massachusetts to Charlotte, North Carolina. "Shout" describes the singing style and form of worship found in some 20th-century African-American religious denominations. Speaking directly to God through the "shout," black Pentecostals offered the direct experiences and the emotional touch of the Spirit.

Musically, the "modern" (post-W.W. II) shout band style is up-tempo, duple meter, bright, and responsive to the congregation. It also incorporates a chordal wall of sound as players form a semi-circle with the leader playing and directing in front. The musical form consists of three sections. The recitative, played by the lead trombone in a slow improvisatory manner, constitutes a "call" for which the row tenor trombones play a fundamental chord progression. The second section establishes tempo and sets the melody through repeated and then ornamented verses. The third section is "the shout," with a call-and-response pattern and a rhythmic cadence called "backtimin" or "polin" in which the sousaphone, playing a walking bass line, provides the foundation for hocket and hemiola rhythms. The length of the sections are determined by the lead trombone who is responding to the congregation. Shout bands may play continuously for up to three hours at religious services.

The Mangum and Company Shout Band appeared under the name The Clouds of Heaven in the first-ever anthology of shout band music produced by Smithsonian Folkways, Saints Paradise: Trombone Shout Bands from the United House of Prayer (1999). Music samples are available for download from the Smithsonian Folkways website

Subscribe to Mangum and Company Shout Band