The Great American Brass Band Festival Celebrates 30th Year

Volunteers Drive Longevity

Danville, KY - May 7, 2019 – The only free, volunteer-run, annual brass band event of its type in the United States will turn 30 this year and people from all over the world will be coming to Danville, Kentucky to celebrate.

The Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) begins its third decade this year with free, family-oriented entertainment from June 6-9, 2019 in Danville Kentucky. The event is managed by a part-time executive director and a part-time assistant and the rest of this event is made possible by an army of community volunteers -- some of whom have been volunteering every year of the event.

“It’s incredible to see over 25,000 people from all over the globe come to enjoy world-class musicians in this free series of concerts in Danville and Boyle County and in Harrodsburg and Shaker Village. It’s even more amazing when you realize it’s a labor of love for the people in this community. This is my first year in this role with the Festival and I’m in awe of the talent, dedication and teamwork of the volunteers for this event,” said Executive Director, Bill Bandy.

Although new volunteers join the effort every year, there are several individuals who have volunteered every single year for the past 30 years, among them, Jim Rankin, Greg Caudill, John Albright and Terry Crowley.

“I like it.” said Rankin, “It’s a great community event and I’m honored every year to be involved.”

Caudill said, “This was originally going to be a one-year event. We were just going to see how it went -- and low and behold -- 30 years later, we are still going strong! The Great American Brass Band Festival represents everything Danville is about. It blends traditional community values and cutting edge technology for world-class entertainment, it combines the forces of the town and Centre College and it’s all about music. It combines all the things I love and I look forward to volunteering and experiencing it every single year.”

“Volunteering is what you do when you live in a community like Danville,” said Albright, “We pay it forward. You gain a lot by growing up in Danville and it is a blessing to raise a family here. Back in the day, when this all started, it was impossible to say no to Jerry Boyd and he recruited a whole group of us that first year. He is a giver to this community and a wonderful example for us all. Being involved and working together is the right thing to do. It’s how our town works… besides, it’s fun!”

Crowley enjoys the comradery, sense of community and the end results, “It’s a lot of fun. That’s why we enjoy it. I love seeing the outcome. We have gone from an open stage without a roof in the early years, to the elaborate setup our guests enjoy today. It’s such a pleasure to see all these people come to our town and enjoy themselves. We have a crew of people that have been working together for so many years and every year we welcome new faces!”

The Great American Brass Band Festival for 2019 will include individual concerts, a parade, a New Orleans style “Bayou and Brass” event featuring Cajun food and music, The Great American Picnic, The Main Stage events on the Campus of Centre College and a number of supporting events in and around the area.

The complete schedule, a listing of the bands performing this year, applications for picnic tables and additional information is available online at

For additional information contact: Bill Bandy, Executive Director at 859-319-8426.

The Great American Brass Band Festival is a community event showcasing brass band music through performance and education. The Festival preserves brass band music and explores its cultural influences through a variety of programs and presentations, featuring the best brass musicians in the world.


Marketing & Media Chair
Angela Allen

Mr. Bill Bandy is available for interviews and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the Great American Brass Band Festival. (We can also arrange for comments from some of our volunteers.)

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Follow the Advocate Messenger for Festival articles and to see the Official Festival Tabloid (available mid-May.) Click here to visit their website.

Boyle County Neighbors April coverage of the 2016 Festival here.

Read the Article in School Band and Orchestra about The Great American Brass Band Festival: