Fountain City Band conducted by Dr Joseph Parisi claimed a fourth consecutive US Open title in St Charles, Illinois on the weekend.
It was the Kansas City band’s seventh victory in the last eight years at America’s premier entertainment championship and saw them once again dominate their rivals with their 25 minute programme.
Fountain City, with their prize winning percussion section on tip top form, opened with Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s ‘When Eagles Sing’.
Their solo talents were shown by a stunning rendition of the traditional polka solo ‘Cleopatra’ played by Chris Larios, as well as Dr Ryan Sharp on soprano and Roger Caliman on kit featuring on a thumping new rendition of ‘Birdland’ by Lee Harrelson.
The finale saw an intriguing segue from the famous ’Largo’ from ‘A New World Symphony’ into the last section of Philip Harper’s ‘The Divine Right’
The band’s delighted MD Dr Joseph Parisi, felt that the result was once again down to the immense hard work and commitment of his players.
“We thoroughly enjoyed putting this performance together,” he told 4BR. “And I feel it demonstrated FCBB's ability to switch styles and genres within the 25 minute programme.”
He added: “A new concept we tried this year was to bring everyone together a week before the competition. The group’s geographic footprint has grown since members have taken positions spanning a great distance in North America (from Texas to Canada).
As a result, Lee and I met and discussed the importance of keeping long-time members active in the band. We both believe it is crucial that we have people in the band who understand FCBB’s philosophy, work ethic, and overall concept of sound.
In an effort to do so, we decided to have a one week intensive rehearsal schedule that would allow many of our relocated members to come back and perform with the band.
This was an experiment, but I believe I speak for all when I say we enjoyed the intense focus and process during the week. It was an enjoyable programme to put together and share with all who attended the competition.”
The Dublin Silver Band returned to the podium spots after coming fourth last year, as their moving ‘Veteran’s Tribute’ caught the ear of adjudicators Dr. Eric Yates and Dr. Paul Bauer, to also claim take the ‘Most Entertaining’ prize. The band’s Josh Jameson also took the award for the ‘Best New Work’ for ‘Supreme Sacrifice’.
Meanwhile, Central Ohio came a fine third with a set themed on magic and wizardry, which included the ‘Best March’ performance of ‘Mephistopheles’.
Euphonium player Dr Don Deal of Madison Brass Band won the sought after ‘Best Soloist’ award for his fine rendition of ’Endearing Young Charms’, whilst the ever popular Friday night ‘Busker’s Prize’ saw a tie between Dublin Silver Band and Prairie Brass Band.
In an effort to do so, we decided to have a one week intensive rehearsal schedule that would allow many of our relocated members to come back and perform with the bandMD. Dr Joseph Parisi
Music/Entertainment = Total
Adjudicators: Dr. Eric Yates, Dr. Paul Bauer and Adam Frey (solo judge)
1. Fountain City Brass Band (Dr. Joseph Parisi): 196/44 = 240
2. Dublin Silver Band (Tim Jameson): 188/48 = 236
3. Central Ohio Brass Band (Jessica Sneeringer): 179/39 = 218
4. Eastern Iowa Brass Band (Alexander Beamer): 177/37 = 214
5. Prairie Brass Band (Mary Barnes-Gingrich): 167/33 = 200
6. Madison Brass Band (Craig Mason): 163/35 = 198
Most Entertaining: Dublin Silver Band
Best March: Central Ohio Brass Band (Mephistopheles)
Best Soloist: Dr. Don Deal (Madison Brass Band)
Best Percussion: Fountain City Brass Band
Best New Work: Josh Jameson (Dublin Silver Band) for ‘Supreme Sacrifice’
Busker Prize: Dublin Silver Band & Prairie Brass Band (tie)