Memorable 80th birthday treats for Dr Droste

One of the most influential figures in American brass banding enjoyed a memorable 80th birthday celebration last weekend.

Dr Droste celebrations
  There was no mistaking who the celebrations were for at the special birthday concert

Over the past weekend American brass band legend Dr. Paul Droste turned 80 years of age.

Highly respected

Dr. Droste is an immensely important figure in the development of the brass band movement in the USA, and was the conductor/founder of Brass Band of Columbus (BBC) which won nine North American National Championships.

He was also a highly respected president of NABBA and severed on their board for many years.


In addition, he also guided Ohio Collegiate Brass to the National title — the band later becoming the highly successful Central Ohio Brass Band (COBB) and has won the NABBA First Section title on six occasions. In the US he is revered for his direction of the Ohio State University Marching Band from 1970-1983.

His international outlook saw him bring the Ohio Brass Band to the UK in 2008 to represent the town of Bowburn at the Durham Miners Gala. The band later joined the Dublin Community Bands and became the Dublin Silver Band — the current US Open champion.

Scoreboard surprise

For his 80th birthday, his daughter, Diana, took him to a Cleveland Indians' playoff game, where to his delight his name was flashed up on its famous scoreboard during the middle of the game!

Meanwhile, Brass Band of Columbus also honoured him with a celebration concert, featuring a special fanfare entitled 'Circle of Friendship' written by tuba player Tony Zilincik.

His daughter Diana premiered a new baritone solo written by Peter Meechan, entitled, 'pLat', before the band performed two of his favourites Vaughan Williams pieces — the '49th Parallel' with his son Douglas conducting, and 'Variations for Brass Band'.

For his 80th birthday, his daughter, Diana, took him to a Cleveland Indians' playoff game, where to his delight his name was flashed up on its famous scoreboard during the middle of the game!4BR

King Cotton

The concert was rounded off by current MD Brian Stevens then giving Paul the wonderful opportunity to conduct the march 'King Cotton' with his old band.

After the brief concert, the audience was invited to a reception with music provided by an Alumni Band of past members.

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