The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics. The White House. Carnegie Hall. Royal Albert Hall in England. This is a very short list of the places the internationally renowned musicians who comprise the Brass Band of Battle Creek have appeared. These musicians perform with some of the most prestigious ensembles in the world and are gathering, for one night only, in Byron Center, for a holiday concert set for Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Van Singel Fine Arts Center.
The 31-member Brass Band of Battle Creek has been described as an All-Star band of the brass and percussion world’s elite, attracting great musicians from around the United States and Europe to play two annual concerts in Battle Creek as well as a limited number of other engagements in handpicked locations in the U.S. and abroad. Though rooted in the British brass band tradition characterized by larger ensembles of strictly brass and percussion, (no reed instruments or strings) the BBBC also weaves in American elements such as jazz improvisation, pops and swing, resulting in a hybrid style that makes the BBBC truly unique among brass bands.
Created in 1989 by brothers, Jim and Bill Gray, podiatrists and amateur brass players from Battle Creek, the BBBC has grown to cult status in Battle Creek, where BBBC concerts are regularly sold out and waiting lists are created weeks in advance.
“This band represents the beginnings of a new music movement in America. It’s one of the most accomplished groups I’ve ever worked with in my entire career,” Trumpet legend Doc Severinsen, who has twice appeared with the band, says of the BBBC.
BBBC members come from American and European orchestras, colleges and universities, and U.S. service bands based in Washington, D.C. Most have impressive international solo careers. The band’s rotating roster includes some of the finest musicians in the world: Chris Jaudes, professor of trumpet at The Juilliard School and first call trumpet on Broadway; Richard Kelley, trumpet for the Boston Pops; Rex Richardson, internationally acclaimed soloist and Yamaha artist; Jens Lindemann , former member of the Canadian Brass and faculty member at UCLA; Scott Hartman, trombone, Yale Brass Trio, former Empire Brass member, renowned soloist; and Steven Mead, euphonium, internationally renowned soloist and Boosey & Hawkes touring artist.
In addition to its all-star lineup of world-renowned players, the BBBC has performed at several prestigious venues, including England’s Royal Albert Hall as the first non-British band to ever perform at the National Brass Band festival there. Following this event, the band toured UK, performing concerts in Wales, Birmingham and Manchester. The BBBC has also performed at the International Trumpet Guild’s Brassfest in Bloomington, IN., the International Trombone Association’s annual world meeting in Champagne, IL, as guest artist on the University of Kentucky’s Artist Series, and at the Interlochen Arts Society Series. The band was the first brass band to perform on The University of Michigan’s Musical Society Series. Following the performance in the 4,200-seat Hill Auditorium, the band set a record for CD sales in a Society sponsored event.
Join conductor Michael J. Garasi as he takes the podium for a program full of holiday classics and songs.
The concert will be held at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center on December 2, 2016 and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets for this amazing holiday concert today! Tickets can be purchased online at www.bbbc.net or by calling 269-789-2222. Student tickets are only $20! A portion of the evening’s gate receipts will be donated to the Byron Center High School Band Boosters! To learn more about the Brass Band of Battle Creek visit our website: www.bbbc.net or follow us on Facebook and Twitter! You can listen on iTunes or watch the band on YouTube! The Brass Band of Battle Creek, “Where the World’s Top Brass come to play!”