4th Annual U.S. Open Brass Band Championships, another year of growth The fourth annual US Open Brass Band Championships, hosted by the Prairie Brass Band, produced by the newly-formed Brass Bands International Corp. and in Partnership with sponsor Buffet Crampon (manufacturers of Besson & Courtois), are pleased to announce that due to a sold out house last year, the contest will be returning to St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, which will seat about 55% more audience than last year's venue. The contest will be held on November 4, 2006 and will include the following eight bands: Two-time defending Champions, Brass Band of Central Florida, Eastern Iowa Brass Band, Fountain City Brass Band, Milwaukee Festival Brass, Motor City Brass Band, Sheldon Theatre Brass Band, Jaguar-Coventry Brass Band (in their US Open debut) and the host group, Prairie Brass Band. The bands will be competing for the following awards and cash prizes: Championship Trophy and $1,000.00 USD, sponsored by Buffet Crampon, a Partnership Sponsor Most Entertaining Band Award and $500.00 USD, sponsored by Sam Ash Music, a Gold Level Sponsor Second Place Trophy and $250.00 USD, Best Featured Soloist Award and $250.00, sponsored by Smith-Watkins, a Silver Level Sponsor Best Performance of a March and $500.00 USD Best New Arrangement or Composition for Brass Band, $250.00 Unique to the contest is the famous Buskers Award, a trophy for the best small ensemble of the day, judged by a "mystery adjudicator". This has proven to be a hotly contested portion of the contest and hugely popular with musicians and audience alike. Additionally, the Buskers' Preview is held Friday night at a local Irish pub and is free and open to the public. The contest sponsors are excited and pleased to announce a new award this year to be sponsored by Buffet Crampon, theaward for the Best Cornet Performer of the Day. The recipient will be presented with a special, custom built Courtois cornet, which will be engraved with "US Open - Best Cornet - 2006". This award will be presented immediately following the performance by the last band. In addition, Buffet Crampon is also the sponsor of Frank Renton, "The Voice of the US Open", as well as judges John Bell of St. Louis and Curtis Metcalf from Toronto, Ontario. Completing the judging panel will be veteran US Open judge and acclaimed British adjudicator, Alan Morrison, sponsored by Gig Bags. “We are extremely pleased by the growth of the U.S. Open this year, both in terms of the number of bands competing and in terms of the ongoing generous support from our sponsors,” said Clark Niermeyer, president of the U.S. Open board. “We believe that this will be the largest U.S. Open yet, and that is all due to the enthusiasm shown for the event by the competing bands, by our audience, and by our sponsors.” This promises to be the largest US Open contest yet and those who want to attend or become a sponsor or advertiser are urged to check out the website at www.usopenbrass.org for further information.