Don Johnson (1955-2016)

10/18 - Mr. Donald Ray Johnson, Jr, age 61 of Raywick, KY, passed away Friday, October 14, 2016 in Bradfordsville, KY. He was born on July 24, 1955 in Lexington, KY. Mr. Johnson was a musician and a retired Captain of the Lexington Fire Department. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald Ray Johnson, Sr. and Iris Jeannine Vanwinkle Johnson, and his sister Karen Faye Shupp. He is survived by his wife Cindy Oakman Johnson--Raywick, KY, his son Donald Ray Johnson III--Cincinnati, OH, his daughter: Marie Ann Colletti--Brooklynn, NY, his brother Steven Lee Johnson--Paris, KY, three step-brothers David Wilds--Three links, KY, Joseph Wilds--Irvine, KY, Paul Wilds, and his sister Michelle Wilds--Hazard, KY.

A noted figure in historical brass performance, Don founded and led the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets. He organized and led President Lincoln's Own Band, a group featured in Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln (2012). When the crowd sings "We Are Coming Father Abraham" in that movie it is his cornet playing that you hear. An active figure in historical bands in Kentucky, Johnson played in the Advocate Brass Band, Danville, Kentucky for a number of years and was frequently heard on stage at the Great American Brass Band Festival. He also frequented our annual HBS Brass Symposiua, including this past year at the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, Minnesota, presenting on the keyed trumpet. We will always remember Don as a humble scholar, an energetic, passionate, and enthusiastic performer, and a person who has left us a legacy of wonderful recordings and insights into historical trumpet and cornet performance. For information on his recordings and life see

Steven Plank and Bryan Proksch

2017 HBS Symposium: New York, 13-16 July

Call For Papers and Performances

Historic Brass Society
International Historic Brass Symposium
July 13-16, 2017

New York University
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musical Instrument Collection

As at the 2012 Symposium in New York, many of the leading early brass performers, scholars, instrument makers, collectors, curators, and educators will be participating in our 2017 HBS International Symposium. Of special note will be the premiere performance of a newly commissioned composition for serpent and ophicleide, a special workshop and period-instrument performance of the music of James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hell Fighters 369th Regimental Band, as well as other performances and many lectures and round-table discussions.

The Historic Brass Society is accepting proposals for period brass instrument performances and early brass lectures. All early brass topics from Antiquity through to the 20th century will be considered. Please submit a one-page proposal for either a performance or lecture. Lectures will be 20 minutes with an additional 10 minute question and discussion period added. Performances typically are 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending upon size and nature of the ensemble. Keyboard accompanists will be available if needed.

Submission Deadlines: November 1, 2016 For Performance Proposals; December 1, 2016 For Paper Proposals

Please send proposals to:

Symposium Program Committee: Stewart Carter, Trevor Herbert, Jeff Nussbaum, Keith Polk, Bradley Strauchen.

2017 GABBF History Conference Call for Papers

8/3: The Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) in Danville, Kentucky announces a call for papers and presentations for the 2017 GABBF Brass Symposium. The Brass Symposium will be June 2, 2017, an educational event that serves as part of the Great American Brass Band Festival, which runs  June 1-4, 2017.

Presenters who are selected will be offered a $350 stipend plus free lodging on the Centre College campus.

Presentations are typically 25-30 minutes, plus 5 minutes for questions. There is no particular format required. Proposals may be academic paper presentations, performance demonstrations, historical lectures, or other formats. Creative or unusual presentation proposals are welcomed and encouraged. (Powerpoint, video and sound playback resources will be available to the presenter.)
The 2017 GABBF theme is "The Roaring Twenties," however, papers and presentations for the Brass Symposium are not required to be on this topic. Historically, presentations have been on topics such as  brass instruments,  brass bands, band history, performance practice, and music history/literature.

Proposals, or questions about proposals, should be sent via email to Jason Dovel  at Jason.Dovel -at-  If large files need to be sent, a Dropbox link is preferred.

Proposals must be received by November  1, 2016.

For more information, please visit:


The Historic Brass Society is an international music organization of amateur and professional brass musicians and scholars concerned with the entire range of brass music, from Antiquity to the present.  Find out more about us by clicking here.

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The HBS President is Jeffrey Nussbaum and the website/newsletter editor is Bryan Proksch.

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Recent Reviews

We frequently post reviews of new recordings, music editions and book. Here are our latest reviews:


10/26: Recording review of Ericson, Rescued! Forgotten Works for the 19th Century Horn


10/19: Recording review of Raquel Rodriquez's Cincinnati Virtuosity: The Cornet Solos of Frank Simon and Herman Bellstedt


10/19: Book review of Pagliaro: The Brass Instrument Owner’s Handbook


10/4: Recording review of Telemann: Trumpet and Horn Concertos by Madeuf

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