2016 Championship Preview: Competing Bands

Despite the record 35 entries in the NABBA 2016 contest, not one organization is a newcomer to the NABBA competition. Rather, each of our five sections is filled out by NABBA loyalists, with six–six!–youth bands entering the ranks. NABBA16 is the ultimate contest, then, as we stack up all of our most competitive bands from the past five years in one cage match.

For fans who can’t make the trip to Fort Wayne, we will be live streaming NABBA16 from both venues this year. The stream is $19.99 for the full weekend and can be purchased from Soundwaves in advance. Also, for fans at home as well as contest audiences, we will have live tweets from the venues (@BrassBandBridge) as well as Facebook updates. Our official hashtag is #NABBA16 on all social media.

Championship Section

Atlantic Brass Band

Atlantic Brass Band is conducted by Salvatore Scarpa and rehearses in Glassboro, New Jersey. The ABB originally competed as the Wheaton Brass Band in 1985, then as Atlantic for over two decades before winning back-to-back Championship titles in 2011 and 2012. Atlantic displays a refined, elegant style and exquisite attention to detail.

2015  Championship Section  2nd placeatlantic logo

2014  Championship Section  4th Place

2013  Championship Section  3rd Place

2012  Championship Section  1st Place

2011  Championship Section  1st Place

Brass Band of Central Florida

BBCF has been a strong NABBA competitor since 20central florida logo00. They last competed in 2014 under the baton of Chad Shoopman.

2014  Championship Section  6th place

2013  Championship Section  8th place

Brass of the Potomac

BOTP was created in 2008 by conductor Stephen Bulla and first competed in 2010. The band rehearses in the DC area and makes its fourth appearance in the Championship section this year.BOTP logo

2014 Championship Section  3rd place

2013  Championship Section  5th place

Chicago Brass Band

The Chicago Brass Band formed in 2002 under Colin Holman and promptly won the 2004 NABBA Championship Section. Chicago’s trademark is their classic sound and perfect blend across the sections, as well as daring own-choice selections.

2015  Championship Section  5th placeChicagoBB-LogoBlack

2014  Championship Section  8th place

2013  Championship Section  6th place

2012  Championship Section  5th place

2011  Championship Section  3rd place

Fountain City Brass Band

Fountain City was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and has graced NABBA’s stages since 2005. Conductor Joseph Parisi led FCBB to victory in the Championship section for four consecutive years, 2007-2010. Fountain City is known for dramatic stylistic effects and calibrated artistry that controls the listener’s experience through every moment of their performance. Roger Oyster conducted the band to a decisive win in 2015.

2015  Championship Section  1st Place

2014  Championship Section  2nd Placefountain city logo

2013  Championship Section  2nd Place

2012  Championship Section  2nd Place

2011  Championship Section  2nd Place

James Madison University Brass Band

JMU Brass Band and Music Director Kevin Stees rehearse on campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU Brass Band are popular with the NABBA audience for their sheer energy and exuberance and a level of musicianship high above that of traditional college wind ensembles. This band truly demonstrates the extreme artistic capacity of young players.

2015  Championship Section 4th Place

2014  Championship Section  5th Placejmu logo

2013  Championship Section  4th Place

2012  Championship Section  3rd Place

Princeton Brass Band

Princeton Brass Band first competed in the First Section at NABBA in 2006 and made waves by winning the Championship section in their first shot in 2013. Music Director Dr. Stephen Allen is famous for his dynamic and expressive conducting, and the band follows him perfectly, creating explosive performances marked by extremes in style and volume.

2015  Championship Section 3rd Placeprinceton logo

2014  Championship Section  7th Place

2013  Championship Section  1st Place

2012  First Section  3rd Place

2011  First Section  2nd Place

First Section

Central Ohio Brass Band

Central Ohio Brass Band, with Jessica Sneeringer on the podium, has placed in the top two slots in eight out of the last ten years. COBB began in 1989 as the Ohio Collegiate Brass Band and competed in its first NABBA in 1990, making it one of the oldest competitive bands in the current competition.

2015  First Section  5th place

2014  First Section  2nd Placecobb logo

2013  First Section  2nd Place

2012  First Section  1st Place

2011  First Section  1st Place

Dublin Silver Band

The DSB came into existence as the Ohio Brass Band in 2008 and made their NABBA debut performance in 2014, though many DSB members had already competed with other Columbus, Ohio, brass bands. Dublin Silver and is led by Dr. Timothy Jameson and won the Second Section contest idublin logon 2015.

2015  Second Section  1st place

2014  Second Section  4th Place

Fillmore Philharmonic Brass

Fillmore Philharmonic Brass is a yearling band in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, founded with the express purpose of competing at the North American Championships. Dr. Stephen Lytle will conduct the FPB in their second NABBA event.fillmore logo

2015  First Section  8th Place

Five Lakes Silver Band

With players drawn from one of the richest brass communities in the Midwest, Five Lakes Silver Band first competed at NABBA in 2011 as the Oakland Brass Band under Neil Barlow.  2016 will be their fifth NABBA event.

2014  Championship Section  9th placefivelakes logo

2013  First Section  1st place

2012  First Section  4th place

2011  First Section  5th place

Illinois Brass Band

Illinois is another seasoned competitive band, having competed at NABBA since 1993. Conducted by Stephen Squires, the IBB has placed in the top half of the First Section for the last two years.

2015  First Section  4th placeThe Illinois Brass Band Logo

2014  First Section  3rd Place

2013  First Section  7th Place

2011  Championship  4th Place

Madison Brass Band

Originally formed in 1863, the Madison Brass Band re-formed in 2002 and has been a NABBA competitor since 2012. The MBB performs under the baton of Craig Mason.

2014  First Section  4th placeMadisonBB logo

2013  First Section  8th place

2012  Second Section  1st place

Motor City Brass Band

Motor City has been a staple of the First Section competition since the band’s birth in 1996. Conducted by Craig Strain, the MCBB is the oldest competitive band in the Detroit area, and have birthed the Motor City Youth Brass Band as well.motor city logo

2015  First Section  6th place

2014  First Section  5th Place

2013  First Section  5th Place

2011  First Section  3rd Place

Oakland University Brass Band

Under conductor Dr. Kenneth Kroesche, Oakland University Brass Band has become one of the top collegiate bands in the United States. The OUBB first appeared at NABBA in 2010.

2014  First Section  1st placeOUlogo

2013  First Section  3rd place

2012  First Section  5th place

2011  First Section  5th place

Pikes Peak Brass Band

Pikes Peak Brass Band was formed in 1998 as the Fountain Creppbb logoek Brass Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Directed by Debbie Baker, the PPBB will made their competitive debut at NABBA in 2015.

2015  First Section  3rd Place

Weston Silver Band

Weston wins the prize for oldest NABBA band, having been founded as the Weston Boys Band in 1921. The Toronto, Ontario, WSB has shown well in the Canadian National Exhibition Band competitions and has competed in North American Championships off and on since the 1980s. They dominated the First Section last year after taking Second Section in 2014, and are conducted by Music Director Larry Shields.

2015  First Section      1st Placewsb-logo

2014  Second Section  1st Place


Second Section

Brass Band of Huntsville

BBH has made the trek to NABBA from Huntsville, Alabama to compete under the direction of Dr. David Spencer. This will be their fourth NABBA performance.huntsville logo

2015  Second Section  3rd place

2013  Second Section  2nd Place

Capital City Brass Band

CCBB was born in 2001 in Lansing, Michigan. The band performs regularly under the baton of William Waterman, and first competed at NABBA in 2011, when they placed first in their debut performance in the Third Section.

2015  Second Section  2nd placeccbb logo

2014  Second Section  2nd Place

2011  Third Section  1st Place

Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band

CSCBB’s first NABBA appearance was in 2007 under Charles Hockersmith.  The Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band is comprised of amateur and professional musicians from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, and performs under musical director Russell Murray.

2014  First Section  6th placechesapeakelogo

2013  Second Section  1st place

2012  Second Section  2nd place

Natural State Brass Band

Natural State Brass Band was born in 2003 and has been a regular competitor at the North American Championships. The NSBB is conducted by former NABBA President Rusty Morris.

2015  First Section 7th Placensbb logo

2013  First Section  6th Place

2012  First Section  7th place

2011  Second Section  1st Place

New England Brass Band

A regular contender in First Section, New England began competing at NABBA in 2001 under Doug Yeo.  With Musical Director Stephen Bulla, they have recently recorded a Christmas CD and perfoNEBB-LOGOrmed on Classical New England WGBH.

2013  First Section  4th place

2012  First Section  6th place

River Brass

Formed in 1991 in Evansville, Indiana as Bend in the River Brass Band, River Brass has competed at NABBA eight times since 2007. The current band is led by Dr. Faril Bunner.

2015  Second Section  5th place

2014  Second Section  3rd Placeriverbrasslogo

2013  Third Section  2nd Place

2012  Third Section  1st Place

2011  Third Section  2nd Place

Triangle Brass Band

The Triangle Brass Band returns to the NABBA stage this year after a competitive hiatus. The Raleigh-based TBB performs under thtriangle-stolene baton of Tony Granados.



Third Section

Chapel Brass

Chapel Brass was born as the Central Ohio Youth Band in 2001. Regularly performing at the Chapel at Worthington Woods in Worthington, Ohio, the band is led by founder Dr. Keith Wilkinson. Chapel Brass has won the Third Section each time they have competed since 2013.chapel brass logo

2015  Third Section  1st place

2013  Third Section  1st Place

Crossroads Brass Band

Music Director Don Bookout created Crossroads Brass Band in 2012 and the band first competed in 2014. Crossroads rehearses and performs regularly in Franklin, Indiana.crossroads logo

2015  Third Section  5th place

2014  Third Section  3rd Place

Fountain City Youth Academy Band

The FCYAB is one of the two youth bands begun in 2008 and associated with Fountain City Brass Band in Kansas City, Missouri. The Youth Academy Band consists of more experienced students and is led by Helen Harrelson and Ron Stinson.fountain city logo

2015  Second Section  6th place

2014  Third Section  1st Place

Milwaukee Festival Brass

Milwaukee Festival Brass, under  the baton of Mark Taylor, has become a Third Section regular at the NABBA contest. Though they appear relatively new to the NABBA Championships, MFB has competed in previous contests as Milkwaukee Brass Band and Festival City Brass Band.milwaukee logo

2015  Third Section  3rd place

2014  Third Section  2nd Place

Old Crown Brass Band

Old Crown will join the competitive ranks of the 3rd Section this season after two successful performances in the Open Section. Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, OCBB has provided invaluable onsite assistance to NABBA in preparing for the Fort Wayne contest. As our local ambassadors, they will perform the US and Canadian national anthems before thocbb logoe Championship performances on Friday night.

2015  Open Section  1st Place

2014  Open Section  1st Place

Rockville Brass Band

Located in Rockville, Maryland, the Rockville Brass Band formed in 1976, making them one of the oldest NABBA bands. They charmed the audience with their performance in 2015 and return to NABBA this year under the direction of Nigel Horne.rockville logo

2015  Third Section  4th place

2012  Third Section  2nd place

Triangle Youth Brass Band

Triangle Youth Brass Band came to the NABBA stage in 2004 under Tony Granados. The TYBB is made up of the most experienced students in Raleigh, NC, and will perform in the Third Section this year, conducted by Jesse Rackley.triangle-stolen

2013  Youth Open Section  1st place


Youth Section

Fountain City Youth Band

FCYBB is an outgrowth of the Fountain City Brass Band in Kansas City, Missouri. The FCYBB is the younger of the two ensembles in the Fountain City youth brass program. Conducted by Lee Harrelson, the FCYBB won their first NABBA Championships in 2015.fountain city logo

2015  Youth Section  1st Place

Motor City Youth Brass Band

The Motor City Youth Brass Band is associated with Detroit’s Motor City Brass Band. Created in 2006, the MCYBB is conducted by Bona Opatich and is a seasoned NABBA competing band, having won the Youth Open Section in 2014 and placed second in the Youth Section in 2015.

2015  Youth Section  2nd PlacemcybbLogo

2014  Youth Open   1st Place

Triangle Youth Academy Brass Band

The TYABB has previously performed at NABBA as the Triangle Youth Brass Ensemble. Now meeting the requirements for a fully competitive band, they will perform under the baton of Jesse Rackle y.

2013  Youth Open Section  2nd placetriangle-stolen

2012  Youth Open Section  no ranking


2016 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival

Dear NABBA Friends,

Why not plan your brass band vacation in Historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 9, 10, 11 for the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival. Enjoy excellent brass bands from 4 states, the US Army Herald Trumpets, our instrument petting zoo and community pig roast picnic, listen to jazz and end the weekend by experiencing the moving “Taps” Tribute as buglers bring honor at historic sites.

Tour the Civil War Battlefield, visit local wineries, eat, drink and be merry! Bring your clubs and play in the Tuba Open golf brass benefit, a major funding event for the GBBF.

The festival begins Thursday night, June 9 with Community Band Night featuring the Adams County Community Band and the Gettysburg Big Band performing on the Gettysburg Tours Main Stage. Friday begins with the Tuba Open teeing off at 8am at the beautiful Carroll Valley Golf Resort. A variety of bands will be performing around town Friday night. Saturday features a full afternoon and evening of brass band performances in the park like setting at the Main Stage on the beautiful and historic campus of the Lutheran Seminary. The program includes a performance by the Buzz Jones Jazz Quartet with jazz trumpeter, George Rabbai and trombonist, Jim McFalls. The exceptional Wildcat Regiment Band will be performing Saturday on grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Visit the GBBF web site for a complete schedule and Tuba Open registration form: www.gettysburgbrassbandfestival.com

The Gettysburg Brass Band Festival is a 501 (c)(3) organized organized by a group of volunteers in partnership with the Lutheran Seminary, Destination Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Times and the National Park Service at Gettysburg. The GBBF is sponsored in part by an Adams County Arts Council Star Grant.

2nd Annual Brass At The Border

Milwaukee Festival Brass presents the Second Annual Brass at the Border. Performances by Milwaukee Festival Brass, Madison Brass Band and Chicago Brass Band.

At the time of the Civil War 150 years ago, nearly every community of any size boasted its own brass band. These sturdy purveyors of musical entertainment gradually transformed over the years into concert bands and wind bands, and the American community brass band tradition all but disappeared. Meanwhile brass bands in Britain encountered their own struggles to be sure, but nevertheless have maintained their proud legacy of outstanding musicianship in community-based ensembles right through to the present day. It is this legacy that inspired J. Perry Watson to found the North American Brass Band Association in 1983, in an effort to see these ambitious bands return to this continent.

On March 13th, three performing groups – Milwaukee Festival Brass, Madison Brass Band and Chicago Brass Band – have determined to preserve this noble tradition while bringing to the genre a uniquely American voice.

As non-profit arts enterprises, these three bands share many of the same goals and challenges. The format of this event has been designed to foster goodwill, fellowship, and mutual support of one another’s efforts to bring exceptional music to their communities.

We know that you will enjoy the diverse and energetic programs that will be presented at the concert. The performance will start at 3:00 at Milton High School; 114 W High St; Milton, WI. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $9 for seniors and students and can be purchased on our website or at the door. Group rates are available. For more information, please visit the band’s website at www.mfbrass.org. We hope to see you there!