Brass Band of Battle Creek

Discussion in 'theMouthPiece.com User Reviews' started by Brian Bowen, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Yes, I have always felt that their position was something like that. But some outside feel differently. OK, time for my position. I have gotten tired of defending them. I play their music. But I get emails, some nasty. The Brass Band of Las Vegas plays swing in an amazing manner. I play them too.

    This thread has done more for me than some of you will imagine. I play brass bands - mostly traditional, but occassionally I sneak something unusual in. This Land of Ours by The Cory Band and Cantorion is a traditional band mixed with a male vocal group. It is excellent IMO. I play them too.

    Some of the detractors do not like the BBBC because of the statements I listed. There are tracks from bands very well known I will not play. Does it fit the theme of the station? Is it musically pleasant to listen to. I let listeners and their votes determine much of that.

    Mr. Sprarke, you said it well. I for one, am thankful for this thread. It will keep me from defending myself quite so much.

    But if the BBBC sponsored a traditional band, or a junior band, the detractors would go away (mostly). I would help by selling brass band instruments at a very reasonable price. But I doubt that is part of their goals.

    Dr. Jim
     
  2. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Oh, I forgot to mention, the North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) championships are this Saturday. Individual and Ensemble Contests begin Friday.

    Of course, the BBBC being pro all the way will not compete, but some great bands will and there will be coverage here and on 4bars rest or NABBA's site: http://www.nabba.org. Some great music. I only live an 1 1/2 drive away, but my illness keeps me from going. Too bad, I would LOVE to hear most of these bands.

    Dr. Jim
     
  3. Dave in Florida

    Dave in Florida New Member

    Doc, you missed a heck of a show. The Championship bands were just amazing and it was a treat to be able to hear them without having to worry about getting ready to perform ourselves.

    Our band made the trip up there from Tampa and had a great time. We were in the Challenge Section and two of our judges, Marty Erickson and Matt Tropman, were from the BBBC. It would have been nice to have a chance to chat with them away from the competition setting but the event isn't structured to readily allow that. Each of them, along with Brian Bowman, conducted clinics on Friday during the Solo & Ensemble competition.
     
  4. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Sure, make me feel worse :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Why did you guys compete? That is several years in a row now. Take nothing away from the other championship bands, many thing the Brass Band of Central Florida is the best in the US (outside of the BBBC which has a bit more money -- see I stayed on topic).

    Jim
     
  5. Dave in Florida

    Dave in Florida New Member

    Jim, we attend NABBA for a variety of reasons:

    It acts as a pinnacle for our season and gives us something to shoot for. Normally, our band consists of about 20 horns and one percussionist. Prior to NABBA, we recruit new (or old) folks and the band's size increases by a half dozen or so.

    It's an opportunity to be adjudicated.

    Our director was able to go.

    Going to NABBA is a good time and affords us a rare opportunity to see and interact with other brass bands. It's good to see old friends and make new ones.

    Our 2nd trombone player is on the NABBA Board and has to go anyway ;-)

    The band has existed since 1983 and attending NABBA is a tradition; our founders helped to form NABBA, 2008 marks our 13th trip and we won in '84, '85, '86, '00 & '02.

    The judges from the BBBC were giving clinics and some in the band wanted to see what they had to say (see, I worked Battle Creek in, too).
     
  6. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    I am one of the many players that have "rolled in and out the door" with BBBC. I was with them for three seasons when Billy Rushworth was sitting on solo tenor horn and it was good fun. Billy was always a hoot to play with and give a bit of grief too, just to keep the smirk on his face!

    I think that we can all agree that BBBC is not a traditional brass band in concept and approach and they never will be. Frankly, a lot of their arrangements smack of big band style writting except the saxophones have been replaced with "sax bore" horns,...snicker!

    Most of the players in BBBC will be the first to tell you that they don't have a heavy brass band background and hence, there are a lot of transplants from England that are "farmed in" from across the pond.

    For what limited time these folks have to put a concert together and with such varied backgrounds, it is a fine group. It is NOT however a traditional brass band as we commonly think of and further, it will simply never be able to produce the classic sound of the typical brass band arena.

    The attitude of management is that they are like a pro football team and they hire who they want to cover the requirements of the music. There is a lot of turn over of personnel in this group as it is a nice resume builder for US players. You will NEVER see BBBC do a traditional program of all English war horse charts and standard solo features. It's simply not in the make up of the group due to the infrequency that they meet, the contrasting schools that the players are drawn from and the conceptual attitude of management.

    I can tell you this much,...you'd better show up with a pair of iron clad balls for endurance, dynamic power and contemporary playing concepts that are well outside the "traditional brass band box." Otherwise, you will be eaten alive with the level of dynamic power that this group puts out into the hall.

    In heavy dynamics with this group, you can feel the floor shutter at times and I'm not exaggerating. This is a bit akin to the difference of a well tuned V12 Ferrari and 2000 hp. nitrous-oxide burning dragster engine. They are two different animals all together.

    It was an interesting experience working with them for three seasons, albeit, the Christmas program got a bit routine,...but don't they all, LOL!

    Best regards,

    Johnny Alto 2.0
     

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