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Thread: Brass Bands in the US

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    I am going to be on holiday next spring travelling from theUK to Chicago then onward to Memphis and New Orleans are there any Britishstyle brass bands in these areas ?
    It's a little off your planned route, but the Brass Band of Huntsville (Alabama) meets Thursday evenings in the University of Alabama (Huntsville) band room.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    215
    I play euphonium in Alpha Brass, a brass band sponsored by the 1st United Methodist Church of Anderson, Indiana. As I understand its history, the director, Mark Finger, discovered that his pastor (now retired) was an accomplished trumpet player. They discussed the number of church members who also played brass instruments and it was decided to start a brass band. The band consists of current and former school band directors, former professors of music from Anderson University and Ball State University and enthusiasts like me. We perform a few times a year at church services and at some community events. It is the most challenging and rewarding group that I play with.
    Membership is not limited the 1st United Methodist Church congregation and interested musicians can contact Mr. Finger or the church.

    Graeme: Guests are certainly welcome. (Although I'm not certain that we would be up to British brass band standards). We would be slightly out of your way south from Chicago. We rehearse at 6:30 pm every other Monday and I can lend you an instrument for the occasion. Send me a personal message if you find that this would fit into your schedule.

  3. Thank you DaveBj and enhite, just another thought would the euphoniums be playing treble clef ?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    Thank you DaveBj and enhite, just another thought would the euphoniums be playing treble clef ?
    Yes -- we play traditional brass band arrangements.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  5. #15
    There are Brass Bands which do not belong to NABBA. They may not be interested in competing or the distance in getting to the NABBA Championship becomes a factor. Brass Band of Minot is Brass Band (which I played with for 4 seasons when I went to Minot State University) is a Brass Band which doesn't belong to NABBA. Winnipeg, MB, a little over a 2 hour drive for me, has a Brass Band. I know Saskatoon, SK has a couple of Brass Bands. I believe Regina, SK has a Brass Band.

    The only time I get to play in a Brass Band is the 4 day adult camp at the International Music Camp at the last weekend of July. Unfortunately, the camp cannot get baritones so the euphonium players has to play the baritone parts on euphonium. I miss Brass Band playing. Its a much higher level of playing then I currently with my Community Band and seems more rewarding.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    Thank you DaveBj and enhite, just another thought would the euphoniums be playing treble clef ?
    Yes. In British Brass Band (and Salvation Army Brass) tradition, most of our arrangements use treble clef.

  7. There are two brass bands I am aware of in the Chicago area. The Prairie Brass Band

    http://www.prairiebrass.org/

    and the Chicago Brass Band

    http://original.chicagobrassband.org/

    I live in Columbus Ohio, where we have four active adult brass bands and a junior band. Dr. Paul Droste, who was for many years the conductor of the Ohio State University Marching Band, has been a life long brass band enthusiast and helped get the movement started here. The current director of the OSU Marching Band, Dr. Chris Hoch, conducts the Scioto Valley Brass Band.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    There are at least 3 in the Twin Cities area. I'm not fully connected to this scene, so there may be more.

    When I first moved here 20 years ago there were 2 I knew of: The Lake Wobegon Brass Band here in the cities and the Sheldon Theater Brass Band in Red Wing (about an hour away). In more recent years I've heard of the Twin Cities Brass Band as well. Seems like a pretty healthy environment here, anyway.

    The North American Brass Band Association does not list ANY in Minnesota, so apparently the ones I know of don't see a need to be in the Association. So there are different "tracks" a band might take. NABBA also shows none on the West Coast, and I believe there are several out there. I'm not sure how one would obtain an accurate count to see what the trend is!
    From my experience of having been involved in brass bands in Europe and in the U.S., there are a couple things:

    First, NABBA is pretty much geared to those bands who choose to compete. Not all brass bands do, as has been noted. I played principal euph in Utah Premiere Brass from 2001 till 2003, and they didn't compete then, and I don't believe they compete now. Still a fine band, though.

    Second, NABBA seems to have focused on the east coast and extending out to the Midwest. Not too much out west, I'm afraid.

    Third, I'd say that brass bands have increased in numbers since I came back to the States in the mid-Nineties, but the numbers still pale in comparison to wind ensembles and concert bands.

    It's still difficult to find BBb tuba players to read treble clef in Bb, and it's still tough to find trumpet players who are willing to put that horn down and pick up a cornet. Ditto for French horn players putting that horn down to pick up a tenor horn.

    In my area (central Arkansas), the Natural State Brass Band is the only one I'm aware of. I am subbing with them on BBb tuba at the moment.
    Last edited by Eupher6; 11-27-2017 at 10:32 AM.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    519
    Dave - It seems the Twin Cities area does have a lot to offer musically and I seem to hear it mentioned a lot in various musical settings. Isn't the Sheldon Theatre Band there and active as well? Lots of good stuff in your area. I live an hour south of St. Louis and there are opportunities here and in St. Louis. St. Louis Brass Band is a performing group but not necessarily active in competition. I suspect as Doug points out that the tremendous expense of travel is a burden to all groups.


    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    There are at least 3 in the Twin Cities area. I'm not fully connected to this scene, so there may be more.

    When I first moved here 20 years ago there were 2 I knew of: The Lake Wobegon Brass Band here in the cities and the Sheldon Theater Brass Band in Red Wing (about an hour away). In more recent years I've heard of the Twin Cities Brass Band as well. Seems like a pretty healthy environment here, anyway.

    The North American Brass Band Association does not list ANY in Minnesota, so apparently the ones I know of don't see a need to be in the Association. So there are different "tracks" a band might take. NABBA also shows none on the West Coast, and I believe there are several out there. I'm not sure how one would obtain an accurate count to see what the trend is!
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    519
    Glad to hear that you have an opportunity! That's great. I will admit, being a tuba player, that I don't regularly work on reading treble clef. I would if I played in a brass band. I did play briefly in a brass band in Fayetteville, NC sponsored by Black and Decker. This was the mid 80s though and I have not played with a brass band since but still love to listen to that genre.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eupher6 View Post
    From my experience of having been involved in brass bands in Europe and in the U.S., there are a couple things:

    First, NABBA is pretty much geared to those bands who choose to compete. Not all brass bands do, as has been noted. I played principal euph in Utah Premiere Brass from 2001 till 2003, and they didn't compete then, and I don't believe they compete now. Still a fine band, though.

    Second, NABBA seems to have focused on the east coast and extending out to the Midwest. Not too much out west, I'm afraid.

    Third, I'd say that brass bands have increased in numbers since I came back to the States in the mid-Nineties, but the numbers still pale in comparison to wind ensembles and concert bands.

    It's still difficult to find BBb tuba players to read treble clef in Bb, and it's still tough to find trumpet players who are willing to put that horn down and pick up a cornet. Ditto for French horn players putting that horn down to pick up a tenor horn.

    In my area (central Arkansas), the Natural State Brass Band is the only one I'm aware of. I am subbing with them on BBb tuba at the moment.
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

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