Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Across the pond to the United States

The Natural State Brass Band
Little Rock, Arkansas

Tonight, I found this video of the Natural State Brass Band, playing Gareth Woods, Brass Triumphant, at the Ft. Wayne Section 2 North American Brass Band Championship.  

You can find the Natural State Brass Band's homepage by using the link below.

This band was founded in 2003, according to their website.  All of the members are volunteers and they do have 501(c)(3) non-profit status.  They appear to perform between six and seven times per year, and they have traveled overseas.  In 2010 this group did a tour in Northern England, where they rehearsed in the Black Dyke Band's rehearsal room.

The piece they are performing is a four movement work written for the 125th anniversary of the Cory Band.  This was used as a test piece for the first section of the 2013 Regional British Band Championships.  It was also used as a test piece here in the States in 2015.  There are numerous solos, and the band must be able to play independently.  

If you are wondering about the name, the NSBB takes their name from the state of Arkansas' motto:  The Natural State.  The band rehearses in a Lutheran church and their conductor is a tuba player!  

This is a solid performance of the piece.  It is a shame the video has only seen around 700 views.  While listening to the performance, you should hear the personality of the band.  Each section has a character that is their own, particularly the trombones.  The made Woods' music their own.  There is a personal flair to it that makes it spicy and fun.  I really like the approach the conductor used with the work.  He collaborated with his band, allowing them to have room to be themselves.  I enjoy this type of music making as it allows the players to engage personally rather than for the conductor.  Enjoy! 

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