Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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The East Coast Band Convention

This previous weekend I had the privilege of attending a small however exhilarating Band Convention in Studying, Pennsylvania, hosted by the Ringgold Band. The main focus of the East Coast Band Convention is devoted to preserving the historical past of the American Wind Band and preserving the worth of our craft for generations to return.

I used to be made conscious of the East Coast Band convention from a Fb submit by a younger, gifted conductor and band historian, Joshua Lengthy. I just lately grew to become related with Josh once I found a message he despatched me in 2019 of a video of his efficiency of my transcription of Von Suppé’s March from Boccaccio. Though, I really feel dangerous I missed the message 4 years in the past, this opportunity discovery led me to this glorious expertise and a brand new good friend.

The morning of the convention opened with a presentation by writer and historian, John C. Mitchell, titled The Band Music of Gustav Holst: An Replace. John shared new discoveries from his exhaustive analysis on Gustav Holst. Within the session I found many issues I had not been conscious of, similar to background on Holst’s association of Bach’s Fugue of los angeles Gigue, key performances by the BBC Wi-fi Army Band and their support in elevating his music to higher consciousness throughout the wind band neighborhood.

Jerry Rife adopted with a presentation on Falcone at Michigan State College which included the accounts of scholars, colleagues and acquaintances in addition to Rife’s personal first hand accounts from when he occupied the workplace subsequent door to Falcone’s throughout his tenure at Michigan State. The presentation supplied worthwhile insights and anecdotes concerning the seminal conductor of the Michigan State Bands, together with a humorous account of how his Baritone was “stolen” from his workplace one night.

As I sat within the rehearsal corridor of the Ringgold Band, whose historical past stretches again the center of the nineteenth Century and occurs to be the final band John Philip Sousa performed, I used to be captivated to study concerning the wealthy historical past of Pennsylvania bands. Judith Shellenberger and Artwork Himmelberger shared The Historical past of the Repasz Band, a fellow Pennsylvania band whose historical past additionally dates again previous to the Civil Battle and was instrumental (sure… I meant to try this) within the campaigns of the Northern troops. Their band, just like the Ringgold Band, has flourished and touched the hearts of generations of band fanatics.

I used to be thrilled to lastly meet in particular person Jari Villanueva, who has vastly contributed not solely to the wind band neighborhood however to numerous veterans via the group he based, Faucets Throughout America. Jari offered John Philip Sousa’s Christmas Reward to the USA, which detailed the story behind one of many march grasp’s most acquainted compositions, The Stars and Stripes Ceaselessly. It was much more impactful because it was with the Ringgold Band that Sousa took the rostrum for the final time earlier than his demise and it was this composition which was the final piece he performed!

Joshua Lengthy then offered on a long-lost member of the wind band household, The Double-Bell Euphonium. Josh detailed the instrument’s rise to change into a member of the wind band household and its sudden disappearance within the Mid twentieth Century. Together with the amusing historical past of this wind band oddity, Josh gave an exquisite demonstration to the convention attendees with a efficiency on a double-belled euphonium he refurbished himself.

Rounding out the morning of the convention was a presentation by Invoice Rehrig on a worthwhile on-line useful resource for the wind band neighborhood, The Hoe Assortment On-line: Entry and Hidden Gems. Through the remaining moments of the morning session, Invoice shared a outstanding reward to band director and wind band historians, The Robert Hoe Music Assortment. Band fanatic Robert “Bob” Hoe collected over his lifetime 1000’s of uncommon wind band compositions. At instances, Bob would buy whole music collections of bands that folded. Upon his demise, his kids, Polly Diane and Robert, needed to discover a approach to protect the gathering and make it out there to bands all over the world. Invoice Rerhig with the assistance of a workforce of band fanatics scanned Bob’s assortment and the result’s a web-based catalog of over 10,000 compositions from all over the world. The Robert Hoe Music Assortment is a tremendous useful resource to the wind band neighborhood!

After a beautiful lunch with convention attendees and presenters, all of us in attendance had the great alternative to take a seat in with the Ringgold Band underneath the course of maestro Charles “Chuck” Ebersole. We learn via many early, uncommon band compositions in addition to some hidden gems!

The East Coast Band Convention is unquestionably one of many wind band neighborhood’s finest stored secrets and techniques! To say, I had a tremendous time could be an understatement. Nevertheless, I used to be stunned extra individuals weren’t in attendance to be part of this superb alternative. I hope extra of us in our neighborhood will reap the benefits of this glorious alternative to be part of the preservation of the American Wind Band.

In case you are fascinated about studying extra concerning the East Coast Band Convention and visiting future occasions, observe them on fb at



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