Where do you think is the hotbed of brass bands in North America?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DublinBass, Apr 10, 2009.


Where do you think is the hotbed of brass bands in North America?

  1. Illinois, USA

  2. Florida, USA

  3. Missouri, USA

    0 vote(s)
  4. Ohio, USA

  5. Ontario, Canada

  6. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Just chatting with some mates about the brass band scene in North America. Obviously (unless you've been there) your opinion is based mainly off of the brass band media.

    This got me thinking...Where do you think is the hotbed of brass bands in North America?
    (e.g. the Yorkshire, Lancashire, Rhonda Valley, Clyesbank, etc..)

    See poll (in alphabeticall order of course).
    ***Note you can choose more than one location.
  2. There are many states left off of the choices that have brass bands.
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Last year I was given a large box of old brass band music so decided to sell all the complete sets on ebay. A lot of it went overseas and most of that to the US. In emailing the buyers, I found that they were all from California and were involved in the growing band scene there. When so many bands are falling to bits, it's so encouraging to see bands thriving elsewhere.
  4. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Very true....but when when people think of brass bands in the UK (no disrespect) they don't usually think of Avon even though there are loads of bands there. They are more likely to think of Cornwall. Likewise, they won't think of Lincolnshire (which has about 20 bands), they'll think of Yorkshire.

    There are just certain areas that rightly or wrongly have more of a reputation. I suppose New Jersey or Washington state would have been a good ones to put on the list as well; however, there are only so many choices you can have in a poll.
  5. The NABBA website has a lot of information about brass bands here in
    the U.S. There are many more non competing. There also a good number of brass bands such as ours, thart are not the traditional British configuration. I love this type of conversation about musical groups. Keep it up.
  6. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    After my little trip and the success of the last weekends, Ohio's certainly not a bad place to start your US banding career!
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Probably because there is no such place. :wink:
  8. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Oh right...well there used to be :hammer
  9. alks

    alks Member

    Yep Avon was the old name for the county (1974-1996). It has since been re-named, so the area I live in is now called South Gloucestershire. However many people still use the term Avon so its still used. Here is more information:


  10. alks

    alks Member

    As for the question - perhaps ohio because it has the most bands (according to the nabba site). But the best (non pro) band is Fountain City with Central Florida also well known (I saw them when they came to the uk a few years back).

  11. Dave in Florida

    Dave in Florida New Member

    With the OSUMB being all brass and located in Columbus, central Ohio has a steady stream of very good brass and percussion players looking for a place to play. Paul Droste, one of the pioneers of modern-day brass banding in the US, lives in Columbus and has helped quite a few bands get off the ground. Counting the SA bands, there are probably at least a dozen brass bands in the state but Pat could give a more accurate count than I.

    Florida where I now reside, on the other hand, there are only 2 active bands with a few SA bands scattered around.

    At times I sure miss Ohio . . . . .
  12. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Lots of good replies...a few details to sort out...
    1) I still feel like a muppet for mucking up the Avon/S.Gloucestershire bit seeing as how I've played the areas at Torquay since 1996
    2) I almost think IBEW has a better record of the # of North American Bands than NABBA as such a small percentage of North American Bands join NABBA (The Cincinnati, OH brass band website also as a quite comprehensive listing under their links)
    3) I know Fountain City and Central Florida are more in the recent memory for UK Bandsman, but Don't forget both the Illinois Brass Band (early 2000s), Brass Band of Columbus, OH (2000) were at the British Open weekend, and the Lexington Brass Band, KY was at the Masters in the late 1990s.
    4) Tallahassee in Florida has a brass band and almost got enough inertia to get a brass band festival going there.
    5) I can't believe there aren't more votes for Ontario. The Hannaford Street Silver Band (HSSB) and the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh, PA are the only two professional brass bands in North America. If any of you have been to the RNCM Festival of Brass, you've oft heard a piece commissioned by the HSSB as part of the weekend as they have a good link with Bramwell Tovey (another Canuck).
  13. Tpascoe

    Tpascoe New Member

    Don't forget about the Brass Band of Battle Creek in Michigan. This a professional band as well.
  14. Tpascoe

    Tpascoe New Member

    Concerning the poll I would say Ohio or Illinois. Illinois has several quality bands in Illinois Brass, Chicago Brass, Prairie Brass, Chicago Staff Band and a couple other SA bands of high quality.
  15. Sop_Or_Bass?

    Sop_Or_Bass? Member

    That'll be down to the effects from being in the Forest of Dean, Pat - another bottle of Severn Cider will sort you out :lol:
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I just don't have a mental association that says 'such-and-such-a-state = epicentre of brass banding in North America' (or even the US). I think it's possibly because you don't tend to see all the American bands of the same standard in the same place at once due to the vast distances that separate everything.

    I don't think it's important though - what is important is that brass bands are a rapidly growing group over there, in most corners of the continent. We can learn so much from the enthusiasm that is being displayed - we've got something fantastic here, but so often people whinge too much and somewhere along the line forget to be grateful for the opportunities they have.
  17. Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2009
  18. Web Site

    Not unusual for me, but something went wrong with the links. One works, the other doesn't. Try the m both. The site is the Cincinatti Brass Band.

    mod edit: link that didn't function removed
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2009
  19. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    I think its only a matter of time until bands become massive in the U.S.A.

    There is a great, well funded education system, there is a fine tradition of brass playing, there is a love of live music, there is some wonderful commercial arrangers/composers who write stuff that sounds great and most importantly there is a huge pool of prospective banders ready to convert to real instruments who are wonderful musicians, play together, play in tune and can sustain sound. If you take away the silly marching, the standard of playing from the D.C.I blew me away last year. I really want to know who writes the arrangements and studies they do as a band, its what bands here are desperate for IMO.

    I wonder how good these could be on real instruments!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaWumhNyv1g space chords...dynamic ability wow!!!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_la_5wfSz4&feature=related beats a blast through the hymn book!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A80y9aJ85vg&feature=related would fancy loading the bus after the gig!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SowK9vZtJjM&feature=related subtle playing, from memory..wow!!!
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    You should check out Blast! This is what I call real presentation (click on lower right arrow key for more).

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009

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