Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by DocFox, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    The North American Brass Band Association had been promoting brass bands in the US for several decades. They have been a little lenient with their rules. For example you could use BBb tubas instead of Eb tubas and F-horns rather than Eb.

    No Longer.

    They are going to follow the UK model. The idea is that the top Brass Band in the Championship Division in the US would be close to the Championship Level in the UK. The test pieces are harder and the judging will be tougher.

    Because of this, several bands have been moved down a division. But the competition should be more fun and intense. The problem for some bands is that the competition is in Indiana. That is a long travel for bands West of the Mississippi.

    But NABBA grows each and every year and more and more youth bands are coming. The top US bands like River City Brass Band, Central Florida Brass Band, and the Atlantic Brass Band are top-notch bands.

    Follow US Banding at: NABBA

  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I have wondered in the past if the time will come for NABBA to launch some king of regional structure in its competition. If you go to the BrassBandResults map, drag it across to the US, and turn on venue plotting, as NABBA represents almost all of the venues used for brass band contesting in the continent, you can see the range of geography that it's been held over over the years. Fort Wayne, Indiana is smack in the middle of all those markers - equally inconvenient for bands from New England, Ontario, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Kansas, and Minnesota. It's about as sensible a location for not putting off regular attending bands as might be found.

    In terms of banding density, the bands largely follow the populations. Looking at the map, we see that the Eastern third of the US contains most of its bands, and that those bias towards the NE, with an isolated tail in Florida - but we also see that there are quite a few bands that don't fit this convenience, with in particular quite a community on the West coast. These bands are never seen at NABBA - persuade a group of 25 to travel 2,000 miles to a band competition when they've never played in one before? A tough sell and a big task to organise. But another competition designed to be more convenient for them might create some interest. Where to hold it? California - say the San Francisco area - would be relatively central to the greatest cluster of banding activity there, but a long way still from the Washington and Texas bands. Colorado would be closer to Texas but further from California (about the same from Washington, give or take), and might draw in the odd band from the Western side of the regular NABBA base too, but would maybe risk everyone being put off by the distance.

    One approach might be to hold the regular NABBA event out West, but that might not be sensible - could risk a low turn-out. But a secondary event, one that started out independent from the main event but might in time be turned into part of a competing structure, that would be interesting. Guess the stumbling block would be probably finding people with the time to organise! But US brass banding is a dynamic and growing scene still in the expansionary phase, filled with forward-looking people.
  3. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    Creating a single national contest in such a huge country (just like in Australia) that makes everyone happy is pretty much impossible. Probably the only fair way is to move the contest between cities with nearby high densities of bands and encourage regional events in for areas when the national contest is on the wrong side of the country.
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It's not just one huge country, it's two - Canada is included also. I think the Australian state championship model could offer pointers as to how to work it, although there aren't the small number of easy sub-national divisions that Australia has.
  5. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    If this change over works, some others will happen. NABBA has its hands full PROMOTING Brass Banding. It is just now big enough some serious contesting. Regionals are probably a bit down the road. In the US, no one Charters a Bus. You have to fly. Pikes Peak Brass Band attends from Colorado - 1500 miles away. But I am sure they fly. The US is so big and when you add Canada Like MoominDave said -- no matter where the contest is located, some band would have to fly in.

    Could you imagine if there was a contesting band in Alaska?
  6. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I wouldn't canvass opinions from people over here, there are people in Barnsley that think the RAH is too far to go for a contest. Can't imagine what they would imagine as an acceptable distance for the Honolulu Silver Band.
  7. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    Yes, in the US driving 3 to 10 hours is acceptable. NABBA does the best it can to attract as many bands a possible. I would love to see the Spokane Brass Band or the Portland Brass Band play, but that is close to a 3000 mile trip


    We really don't worry about distances. I have a diesel VW and get great gas milage. Several members of the band I am auditioning for a Thursday drive 3 hours just for rehearsals. The community band I play in has a contest/festival on Saturday which is a 230 mile drive. I can drive clear accross Tennessee before I can get to my own state Capital. I live near Evansville and can get to Nashville in about the same time I could get to Indianapolis.


    It is a different midset here. I hear that the traffic in London is crazy, so we all have things to deal with.
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Brisbane, Australia
  9. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    Perth? Do you actually go to Perth?
  10. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    2014 national contest I believe, although I didn't attend personally...
  11. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I'll stop moaning about my 45 minute journey to band now.......:p
    Slider1 likes this.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Ken Huckstepp of the NSW band association has kindly been adding a lot of historical Australian nationals results to BBR recently, going back to 1897. You've got to admire the far-sightedness of those that set up and then kept rolling such an ambitious contest - intended to cover bands over a country 1,500 x 2,500 miles in size in an age when trains and ships were the only real options for long-distance travel. But although the odd attendee came a very long way, for many years entrants largely restricted themselves to travelling more-or-less sensible distances - the venue rotated (between Sydney and Ballarat, Victoria in the early days, but expanding to take in a wider range of the country in time), and the bands that entered tended to cluster around the venue location - it was not until relatively recently (70s/80s) that it was commonplace for bands even in the A Grade to enter every year regardless of location - the 1974 contest in Hobart, Tasmania had only 3 A Grade entrants, while the 1979 contest in Perth, Western Australia attracted only 14 bands (compared to 1978's 42 in Melbourne and 1980's 29 in South Australia), of which only 4 came from out of state, and 9 came from within Perth and its suburbs.

    It was the 2013 contest that was most recently held in Perth - 2014 was in Brisbane. And that still deterred most of the entry: 2012 in Melbourne - 48 bands; 2013 in Perth - 21 bands; 2014 in Brisbane - 47 bands.

    Australia's geography is a pretty decent comparison to the US's, leaving Canada out of the NABBA brief for a moment - both countries longer W-E than N-S, and both more or less (very roughly) in a sort of rectangular shape, both approx. 1,500 x 2,500 miles, both with population and banding biased to one part of the Eastern side, but with some density of bands everywhere. The inclusion of Canada changes things, but Canadian entries to NABBA tend to be a bit of a special case anyhow - relatively few and the contest is well established in US locations - it's only been in Canada once (I think without checking). And when one considers that both Canadian population and banding mostly occupy a thinnish strip along the US border, and mostly in an area not far from New England at that, the effect of the extra country becomes quite a bit smaller than might be expected. It's mostly the banding history that's different.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  13. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    This didn't used to be. Bands came from all over. I think the immense growth of Salvation Army bands in Canada keeps the development of contesting brass bands low.
  14. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    What I was trying to say is that "all over" in Canadian terms encompasses a much smaller part of the country than it does in the US. There are no bands in Nunavut, the NW Territories, or even the Yukon because the population density up there is loooow. Plus the Southern 'layer' of provinces has populations biased heavily towards their Southern ranges. Of the mainland provinces, not a single one has a brass band on the map that lies North of the N-S midpoint of its area. The Northernmost bands in North America that I'm aware of are in Edmonton, Alberta, only some 300 miles North of the US border - about 20% of the extent of the country.
  15. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    Quite true. As you get above that 300 miles it is cold. Many places are frozen year round. I do not know if I have ever heard of a band from the cold (including Alaska) or a band in Hawaii. There are bands in Spokane & Portland. Then you add Golden State Brass Band, Pacific Brass Band, Mission Peak Brass Band, the ever growing Rakia Brass Band -- all from California.

    The Las Vegas Brass Band (you can hear on my station) is excellent.

    Here is a master list:

    Brass Bands in the United States and Canada

    Advocate Brass Band, Kentucky
    Allegheny Brass Band, Pennsylvania
    Americus Brass Band, California
    Armory Band. Redlands CA
    Athena Brass Band, Maryland
    Atlantic Brass Band New Jersey
    Austin Brass Band. Texas.
    Bainbridge Brass Band, Georgia
    Belle City Brassworks Brass Band. Wisconsin
    Benfield Brass Band Maryland
    Big River Brass Band, Iowa
    Billtown Brass, Pennsylvania
    Brass Band Northwest, Washington
    Brass Band of Battle Creek Michigan
    Brass Band of Central Florida Florida
    Brass Band of Central Illinois Illinois
    Brass Band of Columbus Ohio
    Brass Band of Huntsville, Alabama
    Brass Band of Minot North Dakota
    Brass Band of the Piedmont, North Carolina
    Brass Band of Nashville, Tennessee
    Brass Band of the Tri-State,Kentucky
    Brass Band of the Western Reserve, Ohio
    Brass of the Potomac Washington DC
    Brassworks Centennial Band Utah
    Brio Brass. Twin Cities, MN Minnesota
    Brushy Creek Brass Band, Texas.
    Buffalo Silver Band, New York
    Capital Brass! New York
    Capital City Brass Band Michigan
    Carter Mountain Brass Band New Hampshire
    Celebration Brass Band
    Centennial Brass Band
    Central Michigan University Brass Band
    Central Ohio Brass Band, Ohio
    Chapel Brass, Ohio.
    Charleston Brass Band, West Virginia
    Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band Delaware
    Chester Brass Band, Nova Scotia (Canada)
    Chicago Brass Band, Illinois
    Cincinnati Brass Band, Ohio
    Classic Brass. Connecticut
    Clinch River Brass, Tennessee
    Commonwealth Brass Band, Kentucky
    Congress Street Brass Band New Jersey
    Crossroads Brass Band of Central Indiana
    Danbury Brass Band, Connecticut
    Derby City Brass Band, Kentucky
    Dominion Brass Band, Virginia
    Dublin Silver Band (British-style), Ohio
    Eastern Iowa Brass Band, Iowa
    East Woodstock Cornet Band, Connecticut
    Farragut Brass Band, Washington
    Federal City Brass Band, Maryland
    Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Fountain City Brass Band, Missouri
    Freedom Brass Band, Ohio
    Free State Brass Band, Kansas
    Georgia Brass Band, Georgia
    Golden State British Brass Band, California
    Gospel Brass Band, West Virginia
    Gramercy Brass Orchestra, New York
    Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band, Colorado
    Green Mountain Brass Band, Vermont
    Griffon Brass Band, Quebec, Canada
    Hannaford Street Silver Band, Ontari0, Canada
    Heartland Brass, California
    Henderson State University Brass Band, Arkansas
    Heritage Brass Band of Dallas, Texas
    Hickman Brass, Nevada
    Highline Silver Cornet Band, Colorado
    Houston Brass Band, Texas
    Humboldt Bay Brass Band, California
    Illinois Brass Band, Illinois
    Imperial Brass Band, New Jersey
    Independent Silver Band, Illinois
    Intrada Brass, Mississauga, Ontario Canada
    James Madison University Brass Band, Virginia
    James Madison University Honors Youth Brass Band, Virginia
    Joyous Brass, California
    Kincardine Brass Band, Ontario Canada
    Kissmah Brass Band, New Mexico
    Kirkland Lake Brass Band, Northeastern Ontario, Canada
    Lake Wobegon Brass Band, Minnesota
    Lambertville Brass, New Jersey
    L.A. Metro Brass Band, California
    Lancaster British Brass Band, Pennsylvania
    Las Vegas Brass Band, Nevada
    Lexington Brass Band Kentucky
    Little Mountain Brass Band, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Madison Brass Band, Wisconsin
    Maple Leaf Brass Band, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Massanutten Brass,Virginia
    Metropolitan Silver Band, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Mill Creek Colliery Band, Edmonton Alberta, Canada
    Milwaukee Festival Brass, Wisconsin
    Mission Hill Brass Band, Alberta, Canada.
    Mississippi River Brass Band, Missouri
    Montclair State University Brass Band, New Jersey
    Motor City Brass Band, Michigan
    Mountain State Brass Band, West Virginia
    Natural State Brass Band, Arkansas
    New Amsterdam Brass Band, New York
    Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band, Pennsylvania
    New England Brass Band, Massachusetts
    North Carolina Brass Band, North Carolina
    North Carolina State University British Brass Band, North Carolina
    Northern Michigan Brass Band, Michigan
    Northwinds Brass Band, Wisconsin
    Oakland Brass Band, Michigan
    Ohio Valley British Brass Band, Ohio
    Old Arizona Brass Band, Arizona
    Old Crown Brass Band, Indiana
    Olde Towne Brass, Alabama
    Old Pueblo Brass Band, Arizona
    Oregon Brass Society, Oregon
    Orillia Silver Band, Ontario Canada
    Oshawa Civic Band, Ontario Canada
    Ozark Mountains Brass Band, Arkansas
    Pacific Brass Band, California.
    Penn View Brass Band, Pennsylvania
    Perseverance Brass Band, Florida
    Petersham Brass Band, Massachusetts
    Pikes Peak Brass Band, Colorado.
    Plumbing Factory Brass Band, Ontario, Canada
    Prairie Brass Band, Illinois
    Princeton Brass Band, New Jersey
    Puget Brass, Washington
    Purchase College Brass Band, New York
    Queen City Brass Band, North Carolina
    Queen City Brass Band, Saskatchewan, Canada
    River Brass, Indiana
    River City Brass Band, Pennsylvania
    Rockville Brass Band, Maryland
    Rohrersville Cornet Band, Maryland
    Rupertsland Brass Band, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    St Johns River City Brass Band, Florida
    Saint Louis Brass Band, Missouri
    Salem County Brass Society, New Jersey
    Salt River Brass Band, Arizona
    Saskatoon Brass Band, Saskatoon, Canada
    Saxton Cornet Band, Kentucky
    Sheldon Theater Brass Band, Minnesota
    ShowMe Brass, Missouri
    Silicon Valley Brass Band, California
    Silverton Brass Band, Colorado
    Southerners British Brass Band, Florida
    South Shore Brass Band, Indiana
    Southwestern Michigan College Brass Band, Michigan
    Spires Brass Band, Maryland
    Spokane British Brass Band, Washington
    Stirling Citizens Band, Ontario Canada
    Steeltown Silver Band, Ontario, Canada
    Sunshine Brass Band, Florida
    Territorial Brass Band of Arizona, Arizona
    Texas Star Brass Band, Texas
    Triangle Brass Band, North Carolina
    Triangle Youth Brass Band, North Carolina
    Tule British Brass Band, California
    University of Georgia Brass Band, Georgia
    Utah Premiere Brass, Utah
    Ventura British Brass, California
    Volunteer Cornet Band, California
    Wenatchee Brass Band, Washington
    West Michigan Brass Band, Michigan
    Western Missouri British Brass Band, Missouri
    Western State College Brass Band, Colorado
    Weston Silver Band, Ontario, Canada
    Westwinds Brass Band, Texas
    Whitby Brass Band, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    Winona Brass Band, Minnesota
    Yankee Brass Band, Vermont

    This is a (mostly) complete listing of bands in the US & Canada. There are a lot of Canadian bands and LOTS of bands west of the Mississippi. Actually, NABBA has done a great job promoting brass banding.

    The only way NABBA can get a large fraction of these bands to a contest is to have regionals -- but that is a long way down the road.
  16. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    Guess I lost a year there somewhere...

    That's a lot of bands in the US & Canada! Hopefully there will be many more.
  17. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    Lots of bands, but only about 40 to 50 contest. Next year the contest will be moved from Indiana to a site further west.
  18. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    I'd love to see what the banding culture is like! One day.
  19. MissBraz

    MissBraz Active Member

    This made me laugh and is so true :D:D:D
  20. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    Well, you pay for the airfare and I will keep you at my house. Come sometime during the NABBA contest. Lots of bands and lots of displays.:D:D:D
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