There has been a welcome addition to the North American brass band movement with the formation Wilmington Virtuosi Brass, located in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The British-style ensemble has been founded Richard Hillson, a former National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain player from the 1990s who is now Chair of the Alumni and Associates Committee.
He has been in the USA for 14 years and has previously played for Imperial Brass from New Jersey and Triangle Brass in North Carolina, including at Carnegie Hall last year.
Speaking about his exciting new venture he told 4BR: "I've been playing trumpet with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and have been astounded by the quality of brass musicians in the area.
I've been toying with the idea of setting up a brass band for a while and so we held an open rehearsal in September and attracted over 30 musicians, including the principal players of numerous musical groups in the state and many current or retired military musicians."
Wishing to compete
He added: "The brass band movement is growing here, and I would love to develop this group to compete at the National Championships in the future.
Our debut concert is on December 20th and we expect a full house which is incredibly exciting to be able to introduce British brass band music to a US audience."
The brass band movement is growing here, and I would love to develop this group to compete at the National Championships in the futureRichard Hillson
Richard admitted that the biggest challenges surround instrumentation and 'authentic' British style.
He added: "I've been picking the brain of numerous friends in the UK about how best to accelerate this process — from deeper mouthpieces such as Denis Wick to introducing some 'classics' of the banding repertoire to our rehearsals.
At the moment though everything is so exciting and we hope to report back to 4BR with further updates and progress as soon as we can."
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