The Atlantic Brass Band claimed their first ever US Open entertainment title in St Charles Illinois on the weekend.
In claiming the $1,000 top prize, the band from the Philadelphia and southern New Jersey area also secured a first NABBA/US Open 'double' following their victory earlier in the year at the North American National Championships in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
It was also their debut appearance at the event and victory will now hopefully see them accept an invitation to compete at the 2018 Brass in Concert Championships in the UK.
Three point margin
Under the direction of MD Salvatore Scarpa they secured the handmade pewter trophy by a three-point margin of victory over runner-up St Louis Brass Band, with 2015 champion Dublin Silver in third, with a programme based on Grimethorpe's Brass in Concert set from 2015.
Opening with 'Eventus-Lake of Dreams' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, they moved into 'Sea of Vapours' by Andy Scott which secured principal cornet Dr. Bryan Appleby-Wineberg the 'Best Featured Soloist' award for his exceptional trumpet playing.
'Lake of Tenderness' by Ben Hollings, 'The Spaceman' march by T.J. Powell and witty bell ringing 'Lake of Serenity — The Swan' by Saint-Seans featuring campanologists Joseph Sino, John Cajio, Justin Feliciano and Andrew Garonzik led into the finale of 'Ocean of Storms' by Dan Price.
Atlantic's MD, Salvatore Scarpa later said: "The band put in a lot of work, both musically and in staging, and we certainly can't forget the tremendous solo of Bryan Appleby-Wineberg or the work of our handbell quartet.
We will take what we've learned from the US Open to make our performances even more entertaining. The invite to Brass in Concert is an extraordinary opportunity that will require a great deal of logistical support and commitment, but can only be meaningful if the musical performance we give is worthy of it."
With the band also winning the entertainment prize and that for 'Best Percussion', they certainly showcased the type of approach that would travel well across the Atlantic Ocean, whilst the MD also hoped that if the trip could be made they would also look to compete at the Scottish Open.
Speaking to 4BR, Bryan Appleby-Wineberg also pinpointed a very 'British' approach to rehearsals has seen the band make huge leaps forward in the last few years.
"We have enjoyed working with the likes of David Childs, Jim Gourlay and Craig Roberts, as we've adopted a twice a week rehearsal schedule that has really paid dividends," he said.
"We have also been inspired by Fountain City's success and have started our own youth band, whilst the inspirational leadership of Salvatore Scarpa has been the foundation on which we have built. We are now releasing a new CD entitled, 'Metropolis' and will be hosting the Mid-Atlantic Brass Band Festival here at Rowan University in Glassboro in February next year. These are exciting time for the band and we want to continue to build on this success."
Although only five bands competed this year (defending champion Fountain City was at the Brass in Concert Championship in the UK), the judges remarked on the high standard of entertainment performance from each of the competitors.
Jonathan Corry and Scott Teeple were asked to mark on both music and entertainment content, with their separate scores giving an overall total.
Also appearing for the first time at the US Open was runner-up St. Louis Brass Band, who returned home boosted by their performance, the $500 prize money and the Roy Newsome Memorial award for the performance of 'Padstow Lifeboat' which gained them the 'Best March' prize.
Dublin Silver innovative presentation of original music claimed the award for the 'Best New Composition', whilst hosts Prairie Brass Band took fourth with an exciting set featuring four new arrangements, a pair of soprano singers and two Irish-dancing children in their rendition of 'Gaelforce'.
Returning to the contest after several years, the much improved Milwaukee Festival Brass presented an innovative program of great variety to take the fifth place award.
Interspersed between bands were several Busker groups, adjudicated by a mystery judge, with the splendid Prairie Dogs from the Prairie Brass Band, claiming the famous top hat full of dollar bills.
The invite to Brass in Concert is an extraordinary opportunity that will require a great deal of logistical support and commitment, but can only be meaningful if the musical performance we give is worthy of it MD, Salvatore Scarpa
Adjudicators: Jonathan Corry & Scott Teeple
1. Atlantic Brass Band (Salvatore Scarpa): 120 + 113 = 233
2. St. Louis Brass Band (Dr John Bell): 114 + 114 = 228
3. Dublin Silver Band (Tim Jameson): 118 + 107 = 225
4. Prairie Brass Band (Dallas Niermeyer): 111 + 97 = 208
5. Milwaukee Festival Band (Mark A Taylor): 105 + 95 = 200
Most Entertaining Band: Atlantic Brass Band
Best Performance of a March: St. Louis Brass Band ('Padstow Lifeboat')
Best New Arrangement/Composition: Doom Impending (Dublin Silver)
Best Performance by a Percussion Section: Atlantic Brass Band
Best Featured Soloist: Bryan Appleby-Wineberg (trumpet) — Atlantic Brass Band