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Dublin Youth Brass Band
An Opportunity for ALL Students
The Dublin Youth Brass Band course provides a unique opportunity for all students in middle school through university level to experience a traditional British Brass Band. Beginning students can be challenged with secondary and tertiary parts, while more advanced students can be challenged with solo parts and unique instruments like the soprano cornet and flugel horn. College mentors can help from within the section and lead occasional sectionals. Low brass students can either play music in bass clef, or take the challenge of learning treble clef like the adult brass bands.
What makes the Dublin Youth Brass Band different?
Unlike many other supplementary groups for music students, the Dublin Youth Brass Band is an inclusive group. Students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities are welcome. Additonally, no student will be denied participation based on their inability to pay the band fee.
Dublin Youth Brass Band has two sessions to make participating in our band more accessible for everyone. Our winter/spring course runs from January until April on Sunday evenings and performs at the Dublin Festival of Brass. This band will eventually go to the North American Brass Band Association's championship every few years. The summer session is in late June into July and is a workshop format with about four rehearsals and a performance at the Ohio Brass Arts Festival. Students do not have to participate in one session to participate in the other.
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2023 Dublin Youth Brass Band Course
Northwest Christian Church
1340 Fishinger Road
Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Saturday, March 25, 2023, time TBD
Dublin Festival of Brass
Sunday, April 2, 2023, 7:00pm
Joint Concert with Dublin Silver Band
$150 for Winter/ Spring Course*
$30 for DYBB Polo
*Scholarships are available. Contact Dr. Bliss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Winter/Spring Dublin Youth Brass Band
January 8, 4:30-6:00 pm
January 15, 4:30-6:00 pm
January 22, 4:30-6:00 pm
January 29, 4:30-6:00 pm
February 5, 4:30-6:00 pm
February 12, 4:30-6:00 pm
February 19, 4:30-6:00 pm
February 26, 4:30-6:00 pm
March 5, 4:30-6:00 pm
March 12, 4:30-6:00 pm
March 19, 4:30-6:00 pm (dress rehearsal may run over)
March 25 Dublin Festival of Brass, Time TBD
March 26, 4:30-6:00 pm
April 2, 7:00 pm Final Performance with Dublin Silver Band
Sometime in the week of April 12-16: voluntary masterclass with Tom Hutchinson
March 25th Dublin Festival of Brass (time TBD)
April 2nd 7:00 pm Final Performance with the Dublin Silver Band
Band Fee $150
(If funds are a barrier to playing in this ensemble, email Amy Bliss at email@example.com)
Band Polo $30
Dr. Amy Bliss, Conductor
Dr. Amy Schumaker Bliss has built a career that combines her love for performing with her love for teaching music. She plays solo euphonium in Dublin Silver Band and Athena Brass Band, an all-star British Brass Band featuring women brass and percussion players from around the world.
Amy is currently in demand nationwide as a clinician, teacher, and euphonium soloist. She has an international studio of in-person and online students on baritone, euphonium, music history, music theory, and beginner piano and general music. Amy's most recent publications include two works about British brass bands: a children's book called "Amy's Brass Band", and a paper on the history of the British brass band movement in North America. The paper, “The Brass Band Bridge and J. Perry Watson: A Link to the Beginning of the North American British Brass Band Movement," was published in the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Journal and was praised as being “probably the best history of the establishment of the British-brass band movement in North America” (William Berz, editor WASBE Journal). The children's book, "Amy's Brass Band," is surpassing all expectations of popularity and introducing the genre to a whole new generation of future brass band musicians.
Amy attended Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus where she double majored in euphonium performance and music education, studying with Dr. Thomas Zugger and James Swearingen. She earned her master’s degree in euphonium performance studying with Steven Mead and David Thornton at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England where she earned Honors with Distinction in Performance. In 2015, she graduated from Rutgers University as the school's first doctoral euphonium student, studying with Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen and mentored by Aaron VanderWeele. Amy lives in Lewis Center with her husband Adam and two sons.
Bob Munson, Resident Conductor
In addition to performing with the Dublin Silver Band, Bob regularly performs with the Westerville Symphony, New Albany Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Westerville Concert Band, Renaissance Brass Quintet, Classic Brass Quintet, Village Brass Quintet, Westerville Brass Quintet, Greater Columbus Brass Quintet and Ain't Misbehavin' Dixieland Band.
Bob and his musical wife Cindy (flute) reside in Westerville, Ohio where their two sons attend Westerville Schools. Their oldest son Bobby has just begun playing Euphonium in sixth grade and will be participating in the Dublin Youth Brass Band program this year.
What is a Brass Band?
This homogeneity allows for a rich and balanced sound that cannot be duplicated in other ensembles. Interestingly, part of the Brass Band tradition calls for all of the music parts to be written in the treble clef, from soprano cornet all the way down to tuba! The only exception to this is the bass trombone, which is still written in the bass clef.
One of the main reasons for the very specific instrumentation of a Brass Band is the very strong and popular tradition of contesting and competition. In a Brass Band contest, only the set number of players are allowed on stage. Contest types vary across not only Britain, but the world. Competition serves not only as a yardstick to measure an ensemble’s quality and progress, but also as strong motivation for the musicians to improve as individuals and stay at the top of their game. In these competitions, Brass Bands are ranked based on performances in previous contests and classified into what are called sections: Open, Third, Second, First, and Championship sections compete against other bands at their level.
In the lower sections, as bands continue to develop, the traditional March & Hymn contest holds a priority, as it allows groups to choose their own pieces and work on achieving the fundamental sound of a brass band.
The top contests often require all of the bands (anywhere from 12-25 competing groups at a time) to play the same “set piece” or “test piece” of music, in order to create a more level playing field for comparison.
The other high-profile contest format is the entertainment contest, in which bands are rewarded for fine playing, strong soloists, and innovative performances.
One of the top Youth Brass Bands in Britain has a great description of each instrument section on their website as well: Youth Brass 2000 - What is a Brass Band?
Instruments of a Brass Band
Trumpet players can easily switch to the Cornet. The Soprano Cornet is the top voice of the brass band. The Soprano Cornet should be treated somewhat like a piccolo is treated in a wind band; The prevalent sound should be sweet and light, floating on top of the ensemble. Only occasionally, when voiced to add brilliance in unison or octave to the ff solo cornet sound, should the soprano be bright and edgy.Students may audition for Solo Cornet or Soprano Cornet. The Bb cornets are subdivided into the front row and back row. The front row, or solo cornets, often provided melodic lines or play very technical passages. The back row (repiano, 2nd and 3rd cornets) provided harmonies and support to the front row.
Trumpet players can easily switch to the Flugelhorn. The flugelhorn is the crossroads of the band, connecting the lower band to the upper band with its range of sonorities. The flugelhorn can, and often does, provide the top voice of the tenor horn choir; It can also reinforce the cornet sound, support the back row or add body to the repiano voice. Students may audition for this part.
French Horn and Trumpet players can switch to the Tenor Horn. The tenor horn can be conceptualized as an alto cornet---the downward extension of the cornet section. The tenor horn should have clearly audible overtones and character to its sound, not be a bland and strive only for darkness.Students may audition for Solo Horn.
Baritones are known as the “utility” players, much like the role the euphonium plays in a wind band. The role of this player in the band is often to be the bass voice of the horns, to add brilliance to tutti parts with the euphoniums, to add depth of sound to the trombones, or to play on their own.
Euphoniums lead the right side of the band. Their sound is the “icing on the cake” to the euphonium and baritone section. This should be a leader in terms of character of sound and volume.
Euphonium and Baritone players can choose which part to play. Students may audition for Solo Euphonium and Solo Baritone.
The Trombone section of the brass band is an interesting section in that it should be treated like the “brass section” of the brass band. In other words, it should be treated like the orchestra treats their brass section. In loud passages, the trombones should come out of the texture and provide the edge and power to the overall sound. Most of the other time, the trombone section is more filler texture, or in the background.
Students may audition for 1st Trombone and Bass Trombone.
The bass sound of the band is quite different than the tuba sound in an orchestra. The tuba sound in orchestra is a more focused and cutting sound in that ensemble, whereas the bass sound in brass band should be more similar to the double bass sound in an orchestra. The listener should notice that the bass sound is there, but should not be able to notice that the basses are tubas. The sound should be less focused than the traditional “orchestral” sound; more of just a “presence”.
Tuba students can choose to play either part. Note: A tuba pitched specifically in E-flat or B-flat is not required.
The percussion section plays essentially the same role as in the orchestra or wind band, with this important difference. Since the highest-pitched instrument in the ensemble is the soprano cornet, some brass band composers and arrangers rely on the mallet instruments to provide the top two octaves of color and shimmer.
Percussion students will rotate parts around the section.