RARE RAPID TRANSIT. In this case we are referring to the transit of Venus (it will pass between the Earth and the Sun on the morning of June 8.) Talk about your path dependence ... the Antipodes might be British owing to Captain Cook doing some geometry with the 1769 transit ... and getting to Polynesia before the French did. But Polynesians as the first blue-water sailors? In the Pacific, perhaps. (Hat tip: Live from the Third Rail for the astronomy history.

Closer to home, the DeKalb Concert Band will perform its first summer concert on the evening of June 8. On the program will be Sousa's Transit of Venus. Apparently the sheet music has been well-hidden for a long time, as the march (which is a bit different from the usual Sousa march and trio with the orchestration augmented in the reprise of the trio) is not played frequently. It is, however, available on the Detroit Concert Band collection of all the Sousa marches. I learned about this band and its collection while working in Michigan; the march collection was once upon a time offered by the Musical Heritage Society and I bought the CD set. Transit of Venus, on demand, in my office.

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