Fountain City Band will return to rehearsal action this weekend minus a batch of their star players following the news that a number of them have gained top jobs in both the music and education spheres.
Undergraduate Bo Atlas has gained the principal tuba job with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, whilst his Greg Battista, who has performed with the band on everything from horn to Eb tuba, has gained a euphonium position with the United States Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland, as well as with the prestigious premier U.S. service band, ’The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band.
Solo trombone and founder member William Hess is set to become the Instructor of Euphonium at Montclair State University in New Jersey, whilst principal cornet Chris Larios, will take up a position in the trumpet studio at Northwestern University in Chicago, to pursue a graduate degree in trumpet performance.
Meanwhile, flugel horn star Dr. Matthew Vangjel, a recent Doctorate of Musical Arts in trumpet from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, has accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith.
In addition to performing with Fountain City, Matthew was a founding member of the James Madison University Brass Band.
On behalf of the band I would like to personally thank each of them for all of their hard work, dedication and sacrifice that they have made to create the Fountain City Brass Band as it is todayLee Harrelson
Fountain City Artistic Director, Lee Harrelson told 4BR: "We have been blessed at Fountain City with some spectacular student performers. It is always bittersweet to see them go, especially as this group contains some of the band’s most dedicated members.
Their hard work as paid off and we are so proud of their accomplishments."
He added: "On behalf of the band I would like to personally thank each of them for all of their hard work, dedication and sacrifice that they have made to create the Fountain City Brass Band as it is today. We wish them all the success in the world and look forward to when our paths cross again in the future."
End of tenure
In addition to saying goodbye to the quintet, September will also mark the end one of the band’s longest serving members, trombonist, David Vance.
David will be joining his wife whose exciting new job will take her to four different cities over the next year.
Lee concluded: "David epitomizes what it means to be a good band member. He always put the band before himself, never complaining about what part he played or lobbying for when his next solo appearance would be. He had a great attitude and gave the band his very best."