2008 North American Brass Band Championships - Preview: Open, Youth and Youth Open Sections


We take a look at the Open and youth bands that will be competing at the 2007 North American Brass Band Championships.

NABBAOpen Section:
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Venue: Robinson Concert Hall
Time: 11:30am – 12:00pm
Set Piece: Variations on Laudate Dominum (Gregson)

For these three sections, there is only one band competing in each section. Whilst the result is therefore a foregone conclusion, we’d still like to introduce you to each of the bands.

The open section was created to encourage new bands to participate in the North American Brass Band Championships. Open section bands are not restricted to traditional brass band instruments (French horns and trumpets are allowed) so that new bands without funds or access to traditional brass band instruments may still participate.

This year will see the debut of a new brass band, West Michigan Brass Band, from Grand Rapids Michigan.

West Michigan Brass Band
John Aren
Section: Open

Principal Players:
Soprano Cornet: Ryan Noe
Principal Cornet: Bill Baxtresser
Flugel: Taryn McComb
Horn: Chuck Warfel
Trombone: Tim Pascoe
Euphonium: Tom Hanton
Basses: Tom McComb
Percussion: Jon Aren

Recent Form at NABBA:
2007 NABBA Championships: DNC
2006 NABBA Championships: DNC
2005 NABBA Championships: DNC

The West Michigan Brass Band makes its competition debut at the North American Brass Band Championships. Director John Aren has used this approach before with his former plant, the Motor City Brass Band believing it to be a comprehensive orientation to the movement and the catalyst toward the continued pursuit of excellence in the arena of amatuer performance.

The band will participate in the Open division hoping to receive constructive comments that will lead them into a bright and prosperous future.

Youth Section:
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Venue: Robinson Concert Hall
Time: 9:30am-10:00am
Set Piece: Occasion (Gregson)

This year the youth section is noticeably thinner with no Triangle Youth band and no All-Star Band. Furthermore new bands in Kansas City, Florida and Detroit have yet to make the journey to NABBA.

Hopefully, supporters will still come out in full force to see the Cincinnati Honors Band which has developed into a fine youth ensemble.

Cincinnati logoCincinnati Honors Band
Greg Mills
Section: Youth

Recent Form:
2007 NABBA Championships: 2nd/2 (Youth)
2006 NABBA Championships: 2nd/3 (Youth)
2005 NABBA Championships: 1st/1 (Youth)

This band of high school is now competing at NABBA for the fifth time. This stability and experience in relatively young musicians has created a quality young ensemble.

Youth Open Section:
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Venue: Robinson Concert Hall
Time: 9:00am-9:30am
Set Piece: Valerius Variations (Sparke)

The Youth Open Section will have slightly easier test pieces and (much like the adult Open Section) allows bands with non-traditional British-style brass band instrumentation. The thought being that when a youth band forms initially, it is very difficult to finance a full set of cornets (rather than trumpets), tenor horns (rather than French horns) and British-style baritones.

Triangle Youth Brass EnsembleTriangle Youth
Paul Pietrowski
Section: Youth Open

Recent Form:
2007 NABBA Championships: 1st/2 (Youth Open)
2006 NABBA Championships: DNC
2005 NABBA Championships: DNC

Tony Granados has done a fantastic job with the Triangle Youth Band program and Paul Pietrowski did a great job with the Brass Ensemble last year. They will be competing for the second time, albeit with a slightly smaller band, but should still show good form.

4BR "not-so dodgy" predictions:

Open Section
1. West Michigan Brass Band

Youth Section
1. Cincinnati Honors Band

Youth Open Section
1. Triangle Youth Brass Ensemble


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