Ohio Brass Arts Festival

Posted on

Ohio Brass Arts Festival

The morning started early enough with the brass ensemble heading over to campus and warming up to be the first group to perform. The brass band followed an hour later to listen. The audience was small but very appreciative and enthusiastic. Remained this way all day bit that’s ok. I know how hard it is go get people to listen to brass bands. They missed out because the brass ensemble played better than o have ever heard them before. Jesse led them skillfully throughout their program and the band responded. Big and powerful moments were a plenty, and you could tell they were doing something special. Such a good performance.

After this, we took everyone down to the new student union building for lunch. Nice place with lots of options. It was only three buildings away from the hall so it was real easy. We got the quintet back so they could warm up for their first performance. They played the first movement of Ewalds 1st quintet and did a really good job. Then we listened to Keith Wilkinsons’s band of the Western Reserve. A really fantastic band. The played some really cool music and where no holds barred. Very aggressive and loud which is fun to listen to. Keith is one of the finest directors you will find anywhere, and is long overdue for a visit to NC. It was great to hear his band play so well.

The brass band had to scoot right after western reserve to warm up for our performance. The one bummer was we couldn’t listen to Dublin brass and hear the Jamisons and Heraks in action. I will hear this band someday. Warm up was good. Kids sounded good and were pumped to play. Had some problems with a tuba valve that was solved by some quick and smart helpers. Got to talk to Eric Aho a little while waiting to go onstage. We started off playing Procession of the Nobles and Be Thou My Vision, two tunes we did not play on our last concert back in February. It was a fast learning curve for these tunes and they went really well. Nobles is kinda nasty on the cornets and they did well. Sean Blye played Be Thou My Vision on trombone and played it really well. Next we played the Irish Blessing and that may have been the most musical thing we did all day. Our big feature work was Hinemoa, which is pretty advanced and has many mood swings and challenges. We really player that one well. We closed with circus bee and the audience loved it and responded with great applause and ovations.

The last three works of the program we set aside for a month after our last concert to work on the flash mob music and music for the May concert which is considerably harder. We re-touched it up last week for the tour and it came out ok. I dont like working on music so long. At any rate, I could not be happier with our performance. It was a really inspired show and a lot of fun to do.

We listened to brass band of Columbus and the host band next. BBC was really good and it was easy to see why they are one of the best bands around. Central Ohio BB is one week from defending their title at NABBA and did a fine job. Their Director, Jessica, is an amazing leader and conductor and always had that band sounding wonderful. They played one one of my favorite brass band charts, Chivalry by Martin Ellerby. This is a tune I hope to get TBB to the level to perform someday. It is really hard but so cool. It was great to talk to Jess for a little bit. She is inspirational and supportive and a great brass buddy. Good luck to her and cobb next weekend at NABBA.

The final concert was Bonarama. These guys are amazing, despite the name. They had a mass trombone choir of 30 players play the last tune with them that was really impressive. All of our trombone students joined in on that and it sounded great. Jessica showed why she is such a good musician with a nice improv solo.

Then, we left the hall and bussed over to the Ohio Stadium and broke into it and played our flash mob music on the fifty yard line, right on the big O. That stadium is huge seating 106,000 and we tried to fill it up with our sound. Actually, we didn’t break in, although that would have been fun to do. We were invited by Jonathan Waters, Assistant Director of the Ohio State Marching Band. He have is a tour of the stadium, let is go on the field and blast away. It was such a neat experience. Mr. Waters then took us into the Buckeye Band rehearsal hall located on the stadium and gave a presentation about the history and traditions of the OSU band. He played some videos, explained about what they were all about and answered some questions. That room was cool. Big pictures. NASA type control room for a podium. Great painted murals and artifacts as well. Thanks so much to Mr. Waters for taking the time to talk us and show us around. We won’t forget this for sure. Pics and videos to prove it.

We went back to the hotel and the cats lost. The end.

Thank you Andrew Seymour and COBB for a memorable day.

Bap Bap with massed trombones and Bonerama: