On November 5th, seven brass bands will put their best foot forward in Arlington Heights, Illinois at the third annual U.S. Open Brass Band Championships. In its brief history this entertainment contest, hosted by the Arlington Heights based Prairie Brass Band, has grown to international acclaim. Bands will travel from across the United States to compete, including the Orlando-based Brass Band of Central Florida, the defending champions. Each band has roughly a half hour to present an exciting program that emphasizes entertainment value as well as musical skill. Spectators are drawn to the event from states as far away as New York and Washington, and even other countries including Canada and Great Britain. The seven bands vying for the title of U.S. Open Champions this year are: Brass Band of Central Florida - Orlando, Florida (reigning champions) Eastern Iowa Brass Band - Mount Vernon, Iowa Fountain City Brass Band - Kansas City, Missouri Milwaukee Festival Brass - Milwaukee, Wisconsin Motor City Brass Band - Detroit, Michigan Prairie Brass Band - Arlington Heights, Illinois Sheldon Theatre Brass Band - Red Wing, Minnesota "We are very excited about this year’s lineup, and believe that all attendees are going to enjoy a great day of brass musicianship,” said U.S. Open Committee President Clark Niermeyer. “The step up to seven competing bands confirms that the U.S. Open is a growing and vital part of the North American banding scene, popular with the competing bands for the challenge it offers them and appealing to our audience for the variety and originality of the performances.” Each band also produces one or two smaller “Busker” groups for a light-hearted contest that goes on between each band performance. Many of these small ensembles will perform in a free preview event Friday, November 4th at Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Restaurant and Pub in downtown Arlington Heights. Says Niermeyer, “Come for dinner, stay for the Buskers.” After the day’s competition the bands will meet for a fun evening of relaxation and cameraderie at the awards banquet, where all the prizewinners will be announced. With festivities stretching late into the evening, the banquet is a great opportunity to meet and chat with fellow brass banders from across the country. Tickets for the U.S. Open on Saturday November 5th are $20 and can be purchased online at www.usopenbrass.org. The doors will open at 8:30 AM with the first performance kicking off at 9:15. With a lunch break and opportunities to stretch legs in between band performances, the event will run to about 3:30 PM.