At the time of the Civil War 150 years ago, nearly every community of any size boasted its own brass band. These sturdy purveyors of musical entertainment gradually transformed over the years into concert bands and wind bands, and the American community brass band tradition all but disappeared. Meanwhile brass bands in Britain encountered their own struggles to be sure, but nevertheless have maintained their proud legacy of outstanding musicianship in community-based ensembles right through to the present day. It is this legacy that inspired J. Perry Watson to found the North American Brass Band Association in 1983, in an effort to see these ambitious bands return to this continent. For the past couple of years, Milwaukee Festival Brass along with Madison Brass Band, Chicago Brass Band and Illinois Brass Band – have determined to preserve this noble tradition while bringing to the genre a uniquely American voice.
As non-profit arts enterprises, these bands share many of the same goals and challenges. The format of Brass at the Border event has been designed to foster goodwill, fellowship, and mutual support of one another’s efforts to bring exceptional music to their communities.
We know that you would enjoy the diverse and energetic programs presented at our Brass at the Border concert.