Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The rest of the story...

Recently, I have learned that entertainment is not always an important aspect in brass band competitions in the United States. I have never been to NABBA, the North American Brass Band Association competition, but I was told recently that each band has a blind audition, rather than being judged on entertainment value. I mentioned in my previous post about brass bands that entertainment was included in all concerts and competitions.
When it comes to playing in a brass band, there isn't too much of a difference from playing in any ensemble. You have to listen, balance, pay attention to what the principal players are doing and follow, blend, and know your part. The Eastern Iowa Brass Band currently has 8 trombone players, and 3 euphonium players, which is unusual for traditional instrumentation. Usually there are 3 trombones, and 2 euphoniums, but the EIBB holds a strong sense of community with its members, and feels that not including certain members could take away from that. There are certain times, such as before the US Open, where we will use a reduced instrumentation for competitions, but the members are eagerly welcomed back as soon as it's over.
The lead solo cornet player acts as a sort of "concertmaster" in the group. Next to the conductor, they have the most say in the band, and will sometimes make comments and suggestions. At least in the EIBB, every one's suggestions and opinions are taken into account, and are usually discussed, and/or fixed.
I have very much enjoyed having the privilege of being a part of this organization, and look forward to many years of playing with these wonderful people. They are my second family, and we look out for one another through the ups and downs.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and insightful comments Bonnie :)

    ~ Clark