Fountain City continued to impose their contesting excellence on the banding movement in the United States with victory at the recent US Open Championships.
The nation's premiere entertainment competition saw four bands provide 25-minute sets at the James Olsen Performing Arts Centre in Kansas City.
The judges were asked to adjudicate on the elements of musical technique and musical artistry as well as entertainment repertoire and entertainment performance to come to an overall aggregate score.
The defending champion claimed their 10th Open title under the baton of Joseph Parisi in 'Whirlwind' fashion — opening with Alan Sylvestri's 'Portals' arranged by solo euphonium Lee Harrelson.
Michael Giacchino's 'Enterprising Young Men' was followed by a superb rendition of Peter Graham's 'Whirlwind' by 'Outstanding Soloist' award winner Jen Oliverio on cornet, with variety shown with 'Highwire' by John Mackey (which claimed the 'Best New Work' prize) and Paul Lovatt-Cooper's arrangement of the hymn tune 'Lloyd'.
They rounded off their programme with Bill Reddie's 'Channel One Suite' also arranged by Lee Harrelson which featured prize winning contributions from Ryan Sharp on soprano, Rich Sweat on kit and Doug Lindsay on cornet.
The winning MD Joseph Parisi told 4BR: "It was so wonderful to have live music again with brass bands from as far as Colorado and Oklahoma attending the event. It made for a wonderful supportive atmosphere with plenty of great playing from all the competitors.
This was the first time we've hosted the event at the UMKC Conservatory and it was indeed a success — not just for Fountain City but for banding in the USA."
Frontier Brass Band from the greater Oklahoma area showed ample evidence of the progress they have made since being formed in 2014, as they came runner-up for the second successive time.
Led by MD Don Linn their 'Histoire 'd'Amour' set featured works inspired by Astor Piazzolla to Leonard Bernstein, finishing with excerpts from Peter Graham's 'Metropolis 1927'.
Free State Brass from the college towns of Lawrence and Baldwin in Kansas was third.
Their varied set included works from the pens of Zach Smith, Paul Lovatt-Cooper and conductor Tom Davoren, whilst Colorado Brass conducted by Wesley J. Broadnax was fourth with their superb flugel player Larry Pennel taking the 'Best Flugel' prize in a programme set entitled 'Molly Brown — The Daughter of Adventure'.
To the Stars
Fountain City Youth Brass Academy led by Lee Harrleson claimed the Division 2 title with their programme entitled, 'Ad Astra' ('To the Stars') which opened with the up tempo 'Eve Retreive' by Thomas Newman, followed by 'Mars' from Holst's 'The Planets', a touch of Hollywood gloss with 'Luke & Leia' from the 'Star Wars' franchise and the classic march 'ORB' by Charles Anderson.
Variety and musical honour came with the famous 'Cantina Band' (a la 'Sing, Sing, Sing') arranged by Lee Harrleson before they closed with the finale from 'Music of the Spheres' by Philip Sparke.
It gave them a clear cut victory from St Louis Brass Band led by John Bell, who gave a highly enjoyable set entitled 'Holiday Spectacular' which featured festive music from Stan Kenton's 'Joy to the World' to Greensleeves' via 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and 'We Three Kings'.
The defending champion claimed their 10th Open title under the baton of Joseph Parisi4BR
1. Fountain City Brass (Joseph Parisi): 119.63
2. Frontier Brass (Don Linn): 109.75
3. Free State Brass (Scott Watson & Tom Davoren): 108.35
4. Colorado Brass (Wesley J. Broadnax): 103.50
Most Entertaining: Fountain City
Outstanding Soloist: Jen Oliveiro (Fountain City)
Best New Work: Highwire (Lee Harrelson)
Winning Conductor: Joe Parisi (Fountain City Brass)
Outstanding Soprano: Ryan Sharp (Fountain City Brass)
Outstanding Flugel Horn: Larry Pennel (Colorado Brass)
Outstanding Percussion: (Fountain City Brass)
1. Fountain City Youth Academy (): 100.38
2. St Louis Brass Band (): 96.63
Best March: Fountain City Academy (O.R.B. by Charles Anderson)