2007 North American Brass Band Championships - Honors Section


4BR looks at the bands taking part in the Honors Section at the Championships, which equates to the First Section in Blighty.

NABBAHonors Section:
Saturday, April 13, 2007.
Venue: Robinson Theater
1:20 6:00 pm

Set Piece: King of Elfland's Daughter (Newton)

There are sure to be some fine performances of some fine test pieces as this may be the year the Honors Section really comes into its own.

What also makes for interesting listening is that two pairs of bands have chosen the same own choice piece.

Own Choice Selections (in alphabetical order by piece):

  • Connotations for Brass Band (Gregson) x 2
  • Isaiah 40 (Redhead)
  • Land of the Long White Cloud (Sparke)
  • Resurgam (Ball) x 2
  • Un Vie de Matelot (Famon)

Central Ohio Brass BandCentral Ohio Brass Band
Jessica Sneeringer

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 3rd/4 (Honors)
2005: 2nd/7 (Honors)
2004: 5th/6 (Honors)
2003: 4th/6 (Honors)
2002: 3rd/4 (Honors)

Principal Players:
Front Row: Greg Weber (principal)
Back Row: Chris Dekay (rep) & Kim Dekay (sop)
Horns: Andy Seymour (flugel) &  Jen Kirby (horn)
Trombones: Todd Seymour
Euphoniums: Steve Bigley (euph) & Laura Wright (bari)
Basses: Sean Maloney
Percussion: Scott Geyer

COBB had a good run out of their program at the Ohio Brass Arts Festival and are hoping to carry their momentum forward.  Last year the band lost a little focus leading up to contest and it showed in their result.  They might be back on target this year, but the competition is better as well.

CinncinnatiCincinnati Brass Band
Anita Cocker Hunt

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 2nd/4 (Honors)
2005: 3rd/7 (Honors)
2004: 3rd/6 (Honors)
2003: 1st/6 (Honors)
2002: DNC (Hosted)
Principal Players:

Front Row: Bob Gray (principal)
Back Row: Pat Counts (soprano)
Horns: Ron Lutterbie (solo)
Trombones: Bob Coil (solo)
Euphoniums: Mark Hensler (solo)
Basses: Ian Insko (BBb)
Percussion: Carol Conover

Since the standard of the section has gone up a significant amount the past few years, Cincinnati has found themselves in the hunt, but without the top prize. 

There is no doubt that they will be ready and have a good performance, but a good performance won't get it done in this section anymore.

GeorgiaGeorgia Brass Band
Joe Johnson

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 1st/8 (Challenge)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC 
Principal Players:

Front Row: Paul Poovey (principal)
Back Row: Pete Bentz (sop)
Horns: Mark Williamson (solo horn)
Trombones: Hollie Lawing
Euphoniums: John Caputo (euph)
Basses: Bill Pritchard (EEb) & Robert Coulter (BBb)
Percussion: Scott Brown

Georgia dominated the challenge section last year in their first year at contest.  They have a good number of talented players and the question is how big a run can they make? 

Will they be able to jump up the sections, Challenge to Championship, a feat that has not been done in well over a decade? 

The could have a shot, but there may be to many other good bands for them to win the Honors Section in their first try.

New EnglandNew England Brass Band
Douglas Yeo

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 1st/4 (Honors)
2005: DNC
2004: 1st/6 (Challenge)
2003: 2nd/4 (Challenge)
2002: DNC

Principal Players:
Front Row: Terry Everson (principal)
Back Row: Stan Whitlock (sop)
Horns:  Kevin Maloney (flugel)
Trombones: Rachel Paczkowski (solo)
Euphoniums: Leif Reslow (solo euph)
Basses: William Conant (EEb)
Percussion: Dorathea Kastanas

In their first year in the Honors Section New England took home the top prize. The band has been stretching their musical limits this year with performances at Symphony Hall and a new CD recording.  They also have an upcoming performance at the International Trumpet Guild Conference. 

All the signs of a band with ambitions of jumping up to the Championship Section next year.  They'll need to take care of business this weekend first though.

Prairie Brass BandPrairie Brass Band
Dallas Niermeyer

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: DNC
2005: 6th/7 (Honors)
2004: DNC
2003: 3rd/6 (Honors)
2002: 1st/4 (Honors)

Principal Players:
Front Row: Eric Yates (principal)
Back Row: Lev Garbar (sop)
Horns: Chuck Otis (flugel)
Trombones: Steve Howell (solo)
Euphoniums: John Meling (euph)
Basses: Kim Witek (EEb)
Percussion: Christopher Karabin

Prairie has not competed at NABBA regularly in a while and that first place must seem like ages ago.  However, they have not been entirely out of the loop, competing regularly at the US Open Brass Band Championships. 

The real question is can they get their test piece chops back?

PrincetonPrinceton Brass Band
Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 4th/4 (Honors)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Principal Players:
Front Row: Dr. Gary Fienberg (principal)
Back Row: Roik Hockenberger (rep)
Horns: Amy Nelson (flugel)

Princeton did not have the debut they would have liked to have had last year.  There are some talented players on the corners, but the ensemble was not there.  Perhaps after another year together they will be prepared to be competitive....if not, perhaps they will be moving down a section?

Triangle Brass BandTriangle Brass Band
Robert Hunter

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC 
Principal Players:

Front Row: Renee Todd (principal cornet)
Back Row: Phil Herold
Horns: Bob Peckham (flugel)
Trombones: Matt Edwards (solo)
Euphoniums: John Jones & Buddy East (co-principals)
Basses: Jack Denniston (EEb)
Percussion: Kathy Bailey

Triangle Brass Band has not competed at NABBA since 2001, when they earned a very respectable 3rd place in the Championship Section.  However, since then standard of playing has increase tremendously. 

With their regular conductor on sabbatical, the drop to Honors Section is a safe move and even if they don't win, they should be able to finish in the frame.

4BR Prediction:

New England won by quite a comfortable margin last year, but the return of Triangle to the fold and the appearance of Georgia in this section could make for quite a competition.

It would be hard to discount some of the other recent champions in Cincinnati or Prairie as well as the Central Ohio Brass Band who always seem to put on a good performance.

1.  New England BB
2.  Triangle BB
3.  Georgia BB

Dark Horse: Central Ohio BB


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