One of the great driving forces of the modern North American brass banding movement has decided to retire from conducting.
Dallas Niermeyer, one of the founders of the Priarie Brass Band near Chicago, and of the US Open Brass Band Championships, has announced that he will step down as the Musical Director of the band.
His 16 year tenure at the helm has seen Prairie develop into one of the most stable and successful brass bands in the country.
A spokesperson told 4BR: "He has been the only conductor the band has ever known and the only conductor we have ever wanted.
His musical direction has inspired our steady and continued growth as individual musicians and as an ensemble, and his counsel on the Board of Directors has been integral to the ‘members first’ directive of the organization."
Dallas Niermeyer has agreed to remain on the band’s Board of Directors and also serve an active role with the US Open. He has also agreed to conduct Prairie for a portion of their forthcoming Spring Concert.
4BR understands that the band is now beginning scheduling guest conductors and clinicians as they work towards finding a suitable conductor to pick up the baton and lead them in the future.
He has been the only conductor the band has ever known and the only conductor we have ever wantedPrairie Brass Band
Band President Clark Niermeyer added: "Speaking on behalf of the band, we cannot begin to express our gratitude for all that we are thankful for, except to simply say, what a wonderful time we’ve all had together."