Apply to be a Performer
To become a GABBF performer, please send in media kit, which includes a letter of intent, bio of your group and sample music. The selection process takes place during the summer before the Festival.
Gabriel DiMartino, Liverpool, NY – Gabriel DiMartino has been playing trumpet since his father gave him one to put in his toy box on his third birthday. DiMartino has studied the trumpet nearly his entire life, taking lessons and attending master classes and conferences for more than 18 years. DiMartino can be heard on a variety of recordings, from the Vivaldi Concerto (with father Vince) with the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble (under the direction of John Laverty) to the horse-whinny on the collected works of Leroy Anderson played on the San Phillipo Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. DiMartino returns to Danville, Kentucky every summer to be a part of the Brass Band Festival.
Phil Smith, Athens, GA – Philip Smith joined the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia as the William F. and Pamela P. Prokasy Professor in the Arts in August 2014. In addition to teaching his trumpet studio, he is the Bandmaster of the UGA British Brass Band, member of the faculty Georgia Brass Quintet, and coach of the Bulldog Brass Society. In addition to soloing, Mr. Smith has conducted many brass bands and brass ensembles, most recently the Imperial Brass and Gramercy Brass in the summer of 2015, and the Georgia Brass Band in the Fall of 2014. Mr. Smith has appeared regularly as soloist, recitalist, chamber orchestra performer, and clinician and has appeared with symphonic wind ensembles.
Wycliffe Gordon, Lexington, KY – Musical ambassador and interpreter of America’s music, Wycliffe Gordon experiences an impressive career touring the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz receiving great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. His unmatched modern mastery of the plunger mute and his exceptional technique and signature sound, has solidified Gordon a place in musical history known as one of the top trombonists of his generation.
202nd Army Band, Frankfort, KY – The 202nd Army Band of the Kentucky National has been an annual participant in the Great American Brass Band Festival since 1996. The 202nd Army Band is an ensemble that features patriotic brass band music for all to enjoy.
Advocate Brass Band, Danville, KY – This Danville-based group formed in 1987 has performed in 10 countries on three continents. The group was founded by George Foreman (former managing director of Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts) with encouragement and support from Mary Schurz, the late publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and The Kentucky Advocate. The band is headed by Lydia DiMartino-Ellis, who has been with the band since 1987 as piccolo soloist. In 2010, she assumed the position of director. Members of the band range in age from 14 to 80 and come from all over Kentucky and Indiana. The band has the tradition of giving Sunday afternoon concerts each spring and fall in Danville.
Capital City Community Band, Frankfort, KY – Frankfort Kentucky’s Capital City Community Band was founded in August of 1986 by local musicians who wanted to utilize the city’s pool of musical talent for public performances. Since its inception, the band has played at a variety of events and received high acclaim for its outstanding performances. The band has three regularly scheduled concerts each year along with various other performances in both Frankfort and Georgetown. We play music for concert band, from marches to orchestral transcriptions and all types of band literature in between.
Central Kentucky Concert Band, Lexington, KY – The Central Kentucky Concert Band is widely recognized as the premier, adult concert band in the Commonwealth, as well as one of the finest assembles of its nature in the southeastern United States. The CKCB was founded in 1976 by Peter Martin and Dennis Van Horn. Originally formed as the “Bluegrass Concert Band,” the name was soon changed as the ensemble began to attract players from throughout the Commonwealth, as well as southern Ohio and West Virginia. Today the ensemble thrives as it boasts a membership united by a common love of music making. The continuing goal of the CKCB is to provide a plethora of experiences that prove to be musically rewarding and personally enjoyable for the players and audience members alike. Be a part of the Festival audience enjoying this Kentucky brass band.
Ceremonial Band of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Cambridge, Ontario – The Ceremonial Band of the Waterloo Regional Police Service was formed in 1977 and represents Community Policing at its finest. The band administrator is Constable Ron Hallman. Coming all the way from Ontario, this band will provide international talent to the Festival.
Chapel Brass of The Salvation Army, Worthington, OH – Chapel Brass came in to existence during 2001 (as the Central Ohio Youth Band) and gave its first public performance at a Festival of Thanksgiving in November of that year. Since that time, the band has performed at several locations in Ohio. The majority of the band’s repertoire is drawn from the Salvation Army’s band journals and includes marches, hymn tune settings and classical favorites. Many of the band’s members are students who perform with their school and college ensembles in addition to their participation with Chapel Brass. This is the Salvation Army at its finest so be sure to see them live at the Festival.
Circle City Sidewalk Stompers, Indianapolis, IN – The Circle City Sidewalk Stompers Clown Band has been performing fast-moving choreographed routines to upbeat music since 1976. The musicians, including trumpets, trombones, saxophones, bass and snare drums, and sousaphone are dressed in colorful clown costumes and entertain the crowd the comic interaction and fancy footwork.
Madison Community Band, Richmond, KY – The band plays standard concert band literature, transcriptions, show tunes, seasonal and patriotic favorites, and marches of various types. The band was established in July 2009 and is based in Richmond, Kentucky, with members residing in Madison and surrounding counties. The band, under the direction of Dr. John Stroube, is made up of high school and college students, educators, business people, attorneys, retirees and others who enjoy performing the finest in wind band literature. The band is a proud member of the Association of Concert Bands and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and it was a featured ensemble at the 2012 Great American Brass Band Festival and the 2012 International Town and Gown Association Conference. Come see this band in its second appearance at the Festival.
Most Wanted Brass Band, New Orleans, LA – The Most Wanted Brass Band, formed in 2013, is a group of “seasoned” musicians that simply wants to inspire others through their performance. With over 150 years of combined experience the group stays true to the tradition of brass band music while developing their own modern brass band style for audiences. All the band members are local natives of New Orleans and have toured with many bands including Olympia Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, and Stooges Brass Band, to name a few. Their main focus is simply to express themselves freely through music as a group and to bring the enjoyment of New Orleans music to all music lovers across the world. Don’t miss this featured New Orleans’s band at the Festival.
North Carolina Brass Band, High Pointe, North Carolina – Established in 2014, the North Carolina Brass Band is the newest professional music ensemble in the state of North Carolina and the newest professional brass band in the United States. Under the direction of Music Director Brian Meixner, the NCBB is a British-style brass band and is composed of the finest brass players and percussionists in the central region of the state. This fresh new sound from the North Carolina Brass Band is providing concert-goers with a greater variety of musical styles; including transcriptions of music for orchestra, wind band, choir, and even jazz and pop music, not to mention the wealth of exciting original music written specifically for brass band. Be sure to come see this new Festival band.
The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, Philadelphia, PA – The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is composed of some of America’s top brass musicians dedicated to bringing the joyous experience of great music to a wide range of audiences. A group that always reflects the diverse makeup of men and women in the American culture, RMPBB is dedicated to the notion that music is a gift to be enjoyed by everyone. The group is especially dedicated to reaching out to the world’s youth and inspiring them to reach for their dreams. The group burst onto the music scene with a debut performance in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall, a residency for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and a special feature on the National Public Radio show, “All Things Considered.” Performances by the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass range from solo trumpet, to brass quintet, to the full ensemble with percussion. This first time at the Festival band is one not to be missed.
Saxton’s Cornet Band, Frankfort, KY – Saxton’s Cornet Band recreates the sounds, appearance, and conduct of brass bands during the antebellum and Civil War eras. Their programs are full of energy and are very entertaining both musically and visually. The performance is a complete historically accurate concert experience from the mid-nineteenth century, complete with dramatic readings and period humor in addition to the excellent music. Reorganized in 1989, the Saxton’s Cornet Band of today strives to maintain the spirit and high standards set by the original ensemble. Saxton’s Cornet Band is a Kentucky and National treasure.
Scott Kirby, Boulder, CO – A native of Ohio, Scott Kirby began his study of music at the age of six, and continued formal piano instruction for seventeen years. Kirby has served as Musical Director of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, MO, and of the Rock Mountain Ragtime and American Music Festival in Boulder, CO, as well as director of the San Juan Islands Ragtime Institute. Kirby’s artistic Passion grew to include visual art, and in 2005, while living in France, he completed 75 paintings and 28 piano compositions, including “The Prairie Devotionals.” The paintings and the new musical works set the groundwork for his new multi-media project, “Main Street Souvenirs.” Kirby divides his time between composing, painting, performing, and teaching. Be sure to see Kirby at the Festival and enjoy this mix of the musical and visual.
Storyville Stompers, New Orleans, LA – Storyville Stompers started as a group of friends who had a love of traditional, New Orleans music, the Storyville Stompers have grown to become one of the preeminent brass bands in the nation, having played throughout the US, Europe, South America and Asia. The band continues to play New Orleans-music in the traditional style, a music considered the foundation for traditional Jazz and Dixieland.”
Town Branch Five, Lexington, KY – The Town Branch Five is a versatile group with instrumental and vocal talents that lend themselves to skilled re-creation and interpretation of hot jazz from the 1920s era. Featuring the music of greats such as Hoagy Carmichael, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Cole Porter, the Five Plus Two will present some of the best of Roaring Twenties jazz at this year’s festival.
UGA Bull Dog Brass with Phil Smith, Athens, GA – The Bulldog Brass Society is the premier graduate brass quintet at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs were created in the fall of 1996 by Frederick Mills, founding member of the Canadian Brass and professor of trumpet at the Hodgson School until his passing in 2009. The ensemble, one of the most active student chamber groups on campus, performs repertoire ranging from Bach to 20th Century works as well as more popular music including home grown arrangements by their members. The BBS has performed throughout the nation and the world, including a European tour, a concert at the Southern Division MENC / Georgia Music Educators Association Conference in Savannah, GA and a special invitation to the Southeastern Composers League Convention. The quintet has also played throughout the community at the Centennial Celebration of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce and at local churches, retirement communities, and outdoor public concerts.
The United States Army Band “Perishing’s Own,” Washington, D.C. – The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” has been the premier musical organization of the U.S. Army since 1922 when Army Chief of Staff* General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing directed that it be formed to emulate the premier European military bands he had heard during the First World War. “Pershing’s Own” provides musical support for the leadership of the United States, to include all branches of government, and to a wide spectrum of national and international events in support of Soldiers and their Families, public diplomacy, community and international relations, recruiting initiatives, and music education programs. The band’s mission is to instill in our forces the will to fight and win, to foster the support of our citizens, and to promote our national interests at home and abroad. We are Soldiers telling the story of America’s Army, the Nation’s force of decisive action. Be sure to come see this American brass story live at the Festival.
UK Trombone Choir, Lexington, KY – Trombone students at the University of Kentucky are actively engaged in world-class performance opportunities in all styles and genres of music. We are proud to acknowledge the fact that members of the studio recently performed with the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble at both the North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals in Europe while simultaneously preparing for the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s side-by-side concert with the Boston Pops. Trombone Students at the University of Kentucky have many diverse performance opportunities such as the Trombone Choir, the Wind Symphony, the Symphony Band, the Concert Band, the Opera Orchestra, the Jazz Ensemble, the Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Combos, the Wildcat Marching Band, and the Symphony Orchestra. This college band brings a youthful feel to our music festival.
UK Trumpet Choir, Lexington, KY – The University of Kentucky trumpet studio regularly premieres and performs the latest repertoire for trumpet ensemble. The UK Trumpet Ensemble has won many coveted awards, most recently winning Second Place in the 2014 National Trumpet competition. They have also performed at the 2014 and 2009 International Trumpet Guild Conferences. In 2015, The UK “Shades of Blue” Trumpet Ensemble recorded a disc of some of the most difficult music for trumpet ensemble, “Competition Pieces for Trumpet Ensemble.” We believe this to be the only commercially released CD ever produced by a university trumpet ensemble. Be sure to come out and hear this collegiate brass band music.
Wildcat Regiment Band, Home, PA – The Wildcat Regiment Band today is comprised of musicians of all ages and from various professional backgrounds. Like their predecessors, the current bandsmen have been recruited from the same geographical area in Pennsylvania and come from all walks of life. The cornets and saxhorns played by the Wildcat Band today are the same as the instruments that were in service during battle and dress parades in 1861. All of the horns date from the Civil War era, some as early as 1845. Much of the regimental band music that will be performed has its roots in the small town “cornet bands” of the 19th century. Many of these original 19th century arrangements have been taken from band books found in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress, as well as from private collections. Among the selections performed are “Lurline Quickstep”, “Carnival Waltz”, “Old K. Y, Ky”, “Hunters Chorus from the Rose of Erin” and “Puritani Quickstep.” Come out to enjoy this historic brass band.