2006 North American Brass Band Championships - Championship Section


The very best bands in North America line up on the weekend to see if they can take home with them the title as the best brass band in the USA.

Championship Section:

Venue: Stem Concert Hall
Time: 12:10 5:30 pm


AtanlticAtlantic Brass Band
Music Director:
  Salvatore Scarpa
Website:  http://www.atlanticbrassband.org

Principal Players:
Soprano:  Robert High
Principal Cornet:  Arthur Myers (Principal) and me (Bryan K. Appleby-Wineberg, Co-Principal)
Repiano: James Herzog
Flugel Horn: Jack Deal
Horn: Arthur Henry
Baritone: Derek Danilson
Trombone: William Andrews
Euphonium: Co-Principals Jim Weinhouse and Kevin Cotter
EEb bass: David Laird
BBb bass: Jeff Vanaman
Percussion: Ai Sekiguchi

ScarpaPast Record at NABBC:
2005: 3rd  (Championship)
2004: DQ (Championship)
2003: DNC
2002: 5th  (Championship)
2001: DNC

One of the oldest NABBA bands (now 23) Atlantic had almost always finished near the bottom of the championship section.  Four years ago, new band leadership began to turn things around.  The band has hosted Black Dyke and brought in other notable guest clinicians.  Now, whilst many of the older NABBA bands are slowly dropping into obscurity, with their improved attitude and cohesiveness, Atlantic is on the rise.

columbusBrass Band of Columbus
Tim Jameson
Website: http://www.brassbandofcolumbus.org

Principal Players:
Soprano: Bill Bailey/ Les Mesler
Principal Cornet: Dan King
Repiano: Joe Burke
Flugel Horn: Dave Handshue/ George Zonders
Horn: Lisa Galvin
Baritone: Diana Herak/ Beth Natali
Trombone: Jeff Keller
Euphonium: Eric Aho/ Lori Cohen
EEb bass: Pat Herak
BBb bass: Ray Spillman
Percussion: Dean Appleman

JamesonRecent Form at NABBC:
2005: DNC
2004: 5th (Championship)
2003: DNC
2002: =1st (Championship)
2001: 2nd (Championship)

With a new musical director, Tim Jameson, the BBC will be looking to re-establish old relationships and cultivate new ones at this years competition.  Even though this is the most experienced band at NABBA (with the most Championship Section titles - 9) it may actually be their lack of recent experience the lets them down as they are sure to be unfamiliar with the current standards of bands.  Whatever their result is, this year's competition is sure to be a barometer of where they now stand.

WilkinsonBrass Band of the Western Reserve
Keith Wilkinson
Website: http://www.wrbrassband.org

Principal Players:
Soprano:  Marcia Kline/David Evans
Principal Cornet:  Chris Lichtler
Repiano:  Ahren Stock
Flugel Horn:  David Fazakas
Horn:  Debbie Wilkinson
Baritone:  Michael Gerritsen
Trombone:  Ray Harcar/Melissa Lichtler
Euphonium:  Travis Scott
EEb bass: Bill Ciabattari
BBb bass: Kurt Aschenbeck
Percussion:  Victor Lee

Recent Form at NABBC:
2005: 5th (Championship)
2004: 4th  (Championship)
2003: DNC
2002: competed as CVBB
2001: competed as CVBB
Western Reserve has floated in the middle of the pack in the Championship Section in recent years.  It may only take a bit of confidence for them to break through to the top this year.  With the set work being a piece that Dr. Wilkinson knows quite well from his days with William Davis Band and the band's familiarity with Gregson (having chosen his other works as their own choice piece twice) this could be a year they get a result.

ChicagoChicago Brass Band
Colin Holman
Website: http://www.chicagobrassband.org/

Principal Players:
Soprano: Guy Clark
Principal Cornet: Mary Paziouros
Repiano: Virginia Thompson
Flugel Horn: Joe Dymit
Horn: Roger Menning
Baritone: Tom Gillette
Trombone: Farrad DeBerry
Euphonium: Brad Say
EEb bass: Norm Taylor
BBb bass: Steve Marcus
Percussion:  Mark Taylor

Colin HolmanRecent Form at NABBC:
2005: 2nd  (Championship)
2004: 1st  (Championship)
2003: 4th  (Championship)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

No doubt the experience of playing at the World Championships in Kerkrade last summer has opened their eyes up even more to the possibilities of their band (they put on an excellent performance of St. Magnus).  Chicago has to be quietly confident that if they put forth their best performance, regardless of the competition, they have an excellent chance for a result. 

Fountain CityFountain City Brass Band
Jason Rinehart
Website: http://www.fcbb.net/Bandroom.htm

Principal Players:
Soprano: Steve Molloy
Principal Cornet: Alan Wenger
Repiano: Ron Stinson
Flugel Horn: Doug Reneau
Horn: TJ Menges
Baritone: William Hess
Trombone: Seth Merenbloom
Euphonium: Lee Harrelson
EEb bass: Tom Stein
BBb bass: Scott Watson
Percussion:  Jim Clanton

Jason RinehartRecent Form at NABBC:
2005: 4th (Championship)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

Fountain City Brass Band is a band on the rise.  They may very well have the most talent players of any band and will definitely make a good run at the solo and ensemble contests on Friday.  They are playing as well as ever in their 4 year history and still have plenty to prove (especially after a harsh result at the U.S. Open). The only real question is how far along they are on the learning curve when it comes to creating a true brass band ensemble sound.  Look for them to feature.

IllinoisIllinois Brass Band
Dr. Ryan Nelson
Website: http://www.illinoisbrassband.org/

Recent Form at NABBC:
2005: DNC
2004: 6th (Championship)
2003: DNC
2002: =1st (Championship)
2001: 1st  (Championship)

Ryan NelsonMuch like the BBC, Illinois are in need of a middle to top result to show that they still belong in the Championship Section. 

In some ways, they are even more desperate as not only did they finish in the final spot in the Championship Section at their last NABBA Championship appearance, but also their most recent U.S. Open appearance. 

For their sake, hopefully new MD Ryan Nelson has found the way to get the most out of the band.

James MadisonJames Madison University Brass Band
Kevin Stees
Website: http://jmubrassband.org

Principal Players:
Soprano: Tim Murphy
Principal Cornet: Josh Reed
Repiano: Andriana Shultz
Flugel Horn: James Minnix
Horn: Rachel Hockenberry
Baritone: Sam Funkhouser
Trombone: Niki Lendvey
Euphonium: Alan Greulich
EEb bass: Steve Klingseis
BBb bass: P.J. Shaver
Percussion:  Mike Overman

Kevin SteesRecent Form at NABBC:
2005: 1st  (Honors)
2004: 1st  (Honors)
2003: 1st  (Open)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

James Madison took the Honor's Section by storm with two dominating victories in a row (close to 10 points clear on both occasions).  There will be few to argue they are ready for the jump to the championship section and they will have their eyes on the top prize.  MD Kevin Stees has said that the band has increased their commitment knowing it will take more to compete successfully in the top section.  Not only will they finally be able to see how they stack up against the top North American bands, but they may come away with a good result.

4BR Predictions:

It is difficult to say how things will shake out.  There are many bands older bands trying to make strong efforts to step up to the increased competition.  There are also many young bands that have yet to reach their full potential.  We'll take the safe route by picking the favourite Chicago Brass Band, but there are several others that could make a good run at the title.

1. Chicago Brass Band
2. Fountain City Brass Band
3. James Madison Brass Band

Dark Horse: Brass Band of the Western Reserve


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