Prairie Brass Band
Founded in 1997 in Arlington Heights, Il, The Prairie Brass Band is dedicated to the growth of the brass band movement. The band performs about ten concerts each year throughout the midwest. In addition, the Prairie Brass Band performs at brass band competitions, including serving as the host band for the U.S. Open Brass Band Championships held annually at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois.
A highlight of the 2017 season was a performance of Colors by Bert Appermont with Charles Vernon at the Performing Arts Center on Washington Island in Wisconsin.
Mary Barnes-Gingrich has been music director of the Prairie Brass Band since 2014. She played Solo Tenor Horn with the group before that time.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Mary played French horn as a freelance artist from the age of nineteen, frequently with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Lyric Opera, and Milwaukee Symphony.
Mary has been guest conductor for the Chicago Horn Consort, Cimmfest (Chicago International Movies and Music Festival) and Benefit Brass. She recently composed “Los Vientos de la Pradera”, a tango for brass band, which was premiered at the 2016 U.S. Open Brass Band Championships, and “Hope and Promise Fanfare”, premiered by Benefit Brass in 2017