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Thread: Brass Band megathread

  1. #11
    I played with the Brass Band of Huntsville for 6-ish years, appearing as a walk-on with my euph, and eventually winding up playing bari (I bought my own horn). The experience prompted a musical growth spurt for me, and I was glad that the band would take up pop arrangements just as quickly as hardcore brass band literature. However, eventually age (I was, as I recall, the oldest member of the group) and distance (I had the longest commute) caught up with me; I got tired of driving thru dark stormy nights. But I ended on a high note, the premier of Stephen Bulla's "Von Braun Suite" in July, 2019, at the Space Center.
    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
    I grew up in The Salvation Army. At 14 I made my first youth band. At 19, I was playing 2nd baritone in the New York Staff Band. When I left a few years later I basically stopped playing for good. 28 years later I'm back playing and about to play 2nd Baritone with the Lancaster Brass Band. So much has changed over the years, starting with myself, but looking forward to rebuilding my embouchure in a setting which feels like home. I actually started playing in February of this year with a LGBT related wind ensemble out of Philadelphia. It's a good group and allowed me to slowly start to get back up on my feet again. I have my euphonium band and my baritone band. Not too shabby. My wife isn't a musician and when we married, returning to playing wasn't on the table. Now that it is, she just rolls her eyes. Oh she has no idea what's she's in for. I'll be the mom living out of the shed in the backyard. (at least I'll have a place to practice...LOL)

    I loved and hated growing up in The Salvation Army, mainly hated, but the music at the time was second to none. Today when I see the names of composers I grew up with, it's like a pseudo homecoming every time. Who knows what the future will hold? I just have to work on rebuilding my chops and see what happens.
    Des


    Meet the Family
    Junior - Euphonium - 1906 - Henry Distin Mfg.
    Hastings - Trombone - 1952 - Boosey and Hawkes
    Bramwell - Euphonium - 1988 - Besson/Boosey and Hawkes (BE967)
    Donna - Baritone - 2012 - Dillon Music
    Margaret - Baritone - 2015 - Sterling1050HGS


    New York Staff Band :1991-1994
    Philadelphia Freedom Band - 2022-
    Lancaster British Brass Band (all hail the 2nd baritone) - 2022-

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rosenberg, TX (soon to be Philadelphia, PA)
    Posts
    68
    Just noticed the thread was moved!

    I graduated college from Howard Payne University in 2014 then started playing in The Woodlands Concert Band north of Houston. They are a great group led by Paul Worosello. In my time there we got to play at Texas Bandmaster's Association under the direction of Frank Ticheli in 2015! I played with them for 3 years before becoming a band director just a little too far away to make the commute in 2017.

    I play regularly, but didn't get the chance to perform again until after the Houston Brass Band resumed live concerts in 2021 under the direction of Dr. Rick Spitz. They originally needed a 2nd trombone but I brought my euphonium hoping they would need it just in case. There were a few absent from the first rehearsal and after cueing an empty chair a few too many times in a row, Dr. Spitz had me pull out my Euphonium. Playing euphonium in a Brass Band was a bucket-list moment for me since there weren't many opportunities like that near my hometown in Brownwood, TX. It's been fun and I get to play 1st euphonium at our 4th of July concert coming up.

    The next chapter of my life is a big move. My wife got a job in copy-editing near Philadelphia which is great! Now we get to move up to a state that has 4 seasons opposed to 4 different levels of summer. I am not familiar with all the band opportunities up there, but I did find the Penn View Brass Band and they've welcomed me to play with them and for that I am grateful. That said, if ya'll know of other opportunities or recommendations, let me know!
    Euphonium player with the Houston Brass Band
    Willson 2950
    Gidding & Webster EXL

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    368
    Great thread. Following my college graduation I played in a good community band. In the early 1990’s I became aware of the Brass Band of Battle Creek which kindled my interest in brass banding. In 1996 the Motor City Brass Band was started and I became a member as the principal euphonium. In 2015 I moved to the Five Lakes Silver Band, a fine NABBA First Section band. Covid and other circumstances moved me out of the brass band world and I now play in a fine community concert band affiliated with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. I miss the great brass band pieces and euph parts but not the pressure or time commitment of being a competition band member.

  5. #15
    Wish there weer more brass bands in D.C. area. I would love to try one. There are two professional level groups that I know of, but the only community type brass band are much too far.

    Mike

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by stevevaughn View Post
    Favorite non-test piece I've played would be the Sandy Smith arrangement of Los Hermanos de Bop - super fun!
    Favorite test piece I've played - Of Distant Memories
    Favorite test piece I want to play! - Vita Aeterna Variations
    Given you introduction via PR, the smartass in me says you’re supposed to have some version of Elsa’s as your favorite non-test piece!
    Mike Taylor

    Illinois Brass Band

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by spkissane View Post
    One thing I'd do is listen to recordings of the greats - Black Dyke, Grimethorpe, Cory, Brighouse, etc., to get a sense of the differences in style between brass band and concert band.

    For euphonium specifically, the sound concept tends to skew more "round" than the American-style concert band sound, with more/different vibrato.

    Also make sure your treble clef chops are good!
    All good advice! Also, I've noticed that brass bands create some very dramatic effects with sudden dynamic changes, so I would carefully observe dynamics (not bad advice for any playing).

    Brass band CAN sound so good because the instruments are all similar. Sloppy articulations might not be noticed in a wind band with brass, single reeds, flute/picc, and double reeds, because of the varying qualities & tendencies of the instruments. But there is no such "excuse" in a brass band, so work on differentiation of legato vs. hard tongue, slurs as marked, and note length.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #18
    When I went to Minot State University in Minot, ND, I played with the Brass Band of Minot. After 1.5 seasons playing baritone, I left the brass band partially because I absolutely hated the intonation of the baritone I used. When an opening came up for playing 2nd euphonium 2 years later, I immediately pounced on it and rejoined them.

    Post university, most of the time, I go to the International Music Camp located at The International Peace Garden which borders North Dakota (in the US) and Manitoba (in Canada). They have a 4 day adult camp at the last week of July which includes a brass band which I play with. A couple of times, I had a decent baritone to borrow. The one year, I played tenor (alto) horn. I usually end up playing the baritone part on euphonium (a bit taxing on the chops playing the 1st part!). That's the only time I get to play in a Brass Band. Its either I move to Winnipeg or to either Regina or Saskatoon if I want to play in a Brass Band for 9 months a year.
    Last edited by euphlight; 07-03-2022 at 09:45 PM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by spkissane View Post
    One thing I'd do is listen to recordings of the greats - Black Dyke, Grimethorpe, Cory, Brighouse, etc., to get a sense of the differences in style between brass band and concert band.

    For euphonium specifically, the sound concept tends to skew more "round" than the American-style concert band sound, with more/different vibrato.

    Also make sure your treble clef chops are good!
    My suggestions for what make a brass band the best choice for euphonium players would be:

    Philip Wilby's Paganini Variations, Masquerade, Dove Descending, and Revelation
    Edward Gregson's Connotations, and Variations On Laudate Dominium
    Peter Graham's The Essence Of Time, and The Torchbearer
    Gilbert Vinter's Spectrum, Variations On A Ninth, Symphony Of Marches

    Also Frank Wright's arrangements of Berlioz' Le Carnaval Romain, Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys etc

    So much to get your teeth into! And that's even starting on classic repertoire by the likes of Goff Richards, Howard Snell, Ray Farr et al.
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    AR Resonance M Top / L Backbore Gold Plated Phosphor Bronze

  10. #20
    If you’re going Elsa’s it’s the Bill Himes arrangement or bust. Some of my earliest band memories are this piece and the camp caretaker, former NYSB percussionist almost deafening me. Good times. I was probably 13 at the time.
    Des


    Meet the Family
    Junior - Euphonium - 1906 - Henry Distin Mfg.
    Hastings - Trombone - 1952 - Boosey and Hawkes
    Bramwell - Euphonium - 1988 - Besson/Boosey and Hawkes (BE967)
    Donna - Baritone - 2012 - Dillon Music
    Margaret - Baritone - 2015 - Sterling1050HGS


    New York Staff Band :1991-1994
    Philadelphia Freedom Band - 2022-
    Lancaster British Brass Band (all hail the 2nd baritone) - 2022-

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