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Episode 1549

Topic: Music
Air Date: May 16, 1985
Previous Episode: 1548 - Music
Next Episode: 1550 - Music
Purchase/Stream: Amazon

Mister Rogers arrives with a collection of pictures showing various brass instruments -- the tuba, the French horn, the trumpet, and the slide trombone. He mentions that he will be visiting friends who play each of those instruments and using a tape recording to record their sounds.

At Sam Pilafian's apartment, Mr. Pilafian demonstrates the tuba and explains that his instrument requires a lot of air in order to play it. Mister Rogers also takes this opportunity to try the tuba as well. Dave Ohanian arrives with his French horn and plays a duet with Mr. Pilafian.

Together, all three leave to meet Rolf Smedvig and Charles Lewis Jr., two trumpet players who are joined for another song by Mr. Pilafian and Mr. Ohanian. Lastly, Scott Hartman arrives with a slide trombone. Together, as Empire Brass, they play a variety of numbers demonstrating multiple instruments. Back at the house, Mister Rogers reviews his tape recording of their performances and mentions that those "fancy horns" are very expensive.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the castle is being decorated for the bass violin festival as King Friday requests the presence of his fanfare players. After playing a fanfare, the players put on hats that look like bass violins. When they speak, each fanfare player speaks only one word at a time, together forming short sentences. Handyman Negri asks them if they ever speak together and is told, "We play together. We speak separately."

Back at the house, Mister Rogers makes a paper hat shaped like a cone and remembers how he used to have pretend parades when he was a boy.


For more on the Empire Brass Quintet, visit

The parts of the royal fanfare players are portrayed by Kate English, Melanye Finister, and Ming-Na Wen.

Segments from this week's episodes are featured on the VHS release Music and Feelings.

This episode is included on the Would You Be Mine Collection (DVD).

Appearing In This Episode


  • Charles Lewis, Jr.
  • Dave Ohanian
  • Rolf Smedvig
  • Sam Pilafian
  • Scott Hartman




Episode Credits

With Fred Rogers
Neighbors: Betty Aberlin, Kate English, Melanye Finister, Scott Hartman, Charles Lewis Jr., Joe Negri, Dave Ohanian, Sam Pilafian, Rolf Smedvig, Ming-Na Wen
Executive Producer: Fred Rogers
Producer: Sam Newbury
Director: Paul Lally
Associate Producer: Margaret Whitmer
Music Director: John Costa

Produced in association with WQED/Pittsburgh
A production of Family Communications
© 1985 Family Communications, Inc.

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