HBS Early Brass Festival 2019 (August 2-4, Northfield, MN)

The 2019 Early Brass Festival of the Historic Brass Society (HBS) will be held in conjunction with Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, Minnesota. The Early Brass Festival will take place August 2-4, 2019, primarily at the Weitz Center for Creativity on the campus of Carleton College in Northfield.

In addition to a membership meeting and musical performances by attendees, the HBS gathering will feature more than a dozen scholarly presentations on variety of topics. The complete schedule for the three-day event follows. To register, download the Early Brass Festival registration form.


Friday, August 2, 2019

8:30-9:00- Meet and Greet; registration

9:00-9:30 – Glen Newton  –The Mississippi River Brass Band

9:30-10:00 – Petter Carlson, Stockholm – Band Music of the Stockholm Summer Spas (ensemble)

10:00-10:30 – Jari Villanueva, Baltimore- Band Music of World War I  

10:30-10:45 – Break

10:45-11:15 – Robert Apple, Memphis-The Keyed Trumpet’s use in Early 19th Century Brass and Wind Band Music

11:15-11:45 – Michael O’Connor, Florida- Thomas Coates brass band composer and leader (ensemble)

11:45-12:15 – Don Johnson Jr – Chamber Works and Pedagogy for Keyed Trumpet in the Early Classical Period (ensemble)


Saturday, August 3, 2019

8:00-8:30 – Meet and Greet (coffee)

8:30-9:00 – HBS meeting

9:00-9:30 – William Hall- The 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band, 1861-1862 (ensemble)

9:30-10:00 – Don Larry – Arizona Territorial Brass Band History

10:00-10:15 break

10:15- 10:45 –  Géry Dumoulin, Brussels  – The arguèdène tradition in Wallonia (Belgium): an entertainment practice at the crossroads of brass band, dance, and folk music traditions (ensemble)

10:45-11:15 – William Reynolds, Illinois-Circus Band Memories

11:15-11:45 – Friedmann Immer, Germany- New Thoughts on the Keyed Trumpet


Sunday, August 4, 2019

8:30-9:00 – Meet and Greet (coffee)

9:00- 9:30 – Joy Riggs, Northfield- An Iowa Regimental Band’s 1906 Tour of the South

9:30 -10:00 – Bruce Gleason – European Battlefield Trumpets, 16th-19th Centuries

10:00-10:15 break

10:15-10:45 – Scott Muntefering – Women's Bands in Iowa: the Keota Ladies' Band (1908-1918) and the Knoxville Girls' Band (1915-1919)

10:45-11:15 – Nolan Hauta , Iowa – New Horizon Bands 

11:15               Closing


Robert Warren Apple

The Keyed Trumpet’s use in Early 19th Century Brass and Wind Band Music

The first fully chromatic trumpet was invented around the turn of the nineteenth century and was created by adding keys to the natural trumpet. While this instrument, the keyed trumpet, is best known by brass players today as the instrument for which the Haydn and Hummel trumpet concertos were composed, it was also adopted by large and small wind and brass bands and helped to greatly expand the musical possibilities of these ensembles. Scholars have been aware of the keyed trumpet’s use in early nineteenth century bands for some time, and even had some idea of their instrumentation, but, as far as I am aware, have yet to delve deeply into the music that was composed for these ensembles. Thanks to the generous funding of the Austrian Fulbright commission, I have spent the better part of this past year cataloging and researching the surviving works for band with keyed trumpet, most of which were unknown to or unremarked upon by scholars. These pieces shed new light on where, when, how, and by whom the keyed trumpet was employed during its period of use. These works can be found in Austrian, German, Czech, and Italian collections, and date from around 1821 to 1843. As one might expect, these works for band with keyed trumpet feature many fanfares and marches, but also includes dance music, partitas, divertimentos and arrangements of operatic works, and even several concerto-like pieces for solo keyed trumpet and harmonie. The size and instrumentation of these bands varied greatly and the role the keyed trumpet played in them also varied depending on the type, size, compliment, and nationality of a given band. These bands also accompanied and performed alongside other types of ensembles, such as church choirs during outdoor events, and as on-stage bands during Italian operas.

Biography Robert Apple earned his B.M. in trumpet performance in 2011, and his M.M. in trumpet performance in 2013. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Memphis and was recently awarded a nine-month Fulbright-Mach research grant to continue his dissertation research on the music composed for the keyed trumpet in Austria. Mr. Apple also studies and performers on the baroque, keyed, low-f romantic, and modern trumpets.

Petter Carlson

”200 years of Swedish brass instruments”

This talk will involve the case involving Medevi history also and 200 years starting with maker J V Wahl and goes on to Ahlberg&Ohlsson (that we use in Medevi) - Euphony 1940’s-1975 AND finally Lars Gert who now is making Eb, Bb-cornets and more thanks to support from the army bands that need moderns versions of the Swedish style instruments. They need it for the horse-back band you and me watched at the royal castle and also the army symphonic band (when they play older style instrumentation.

Gery Dumoulin

The arguèdène tradition in Wallonia (Belgium): an entertainment practice at the crossroads of brass band, dance and folk music traditions

The arguèdène tradition still exists in some areas of Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. The Walloon term “arguèdène” means literally “little tune”. It is typically a dance tune played by a small group of bandsmen. The playing of arguèdènes happens on festive occasions, after concerts or other social activities, without conductor, in an informal, spontaneous context. The practice probably finds its origins in the growth of amateur wind bands in the nineteenth century and in the older tradition of contredanses played by ensembles of various sizes and combinations. Orally-transmitted melodies are played from memory and are normally not orchestrated: one or two musicians play the melody while others are improvising an accompaniment. Some of the tunes have been arranged for various ensembles, from a brass quartet to a full fanfare band, and published. The tunes essentially have a local diffusion and are associated with particular players or bands, though some are known in larger areas. They are, as well as the practice in itself, part of a cultural heritage, especially in rural regions where they have a dimension of local identity.

The paper will provide insights on the evolution of a practice at the crossroads of brass band, dance and popular traditions, with its past and current Walloon specificities, and with a focus, based on local fieldwork, on the music and on the use of the brass instruments.

Bruce Gleason, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

European Battlefield Trumpets, Sixteenth – Nineteenth Centuries

While trumpets had been part of battlefield operations in terms of signaling for centuries by the time of the Renaissance, metal bending technical advancements in the fourteenth century helped secure their position. As battles became larger and more complicated, and as the human voice was no longer discernible in battle with the advent of gunpowder further increasing the decibel levels of warfare, the trumpet found a permanent place in Western armies. This paper chronicles some of this history and is part of Dr. Gleason's ongoing work on cavalry music and his upcoming book, Cavalry Trumpeters, Kettledrummers and Mounted Bands: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century.

William Hall

The 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band, 1861-1862

Although not yet a state, the 28,841 residents of the Territory of Nebraska desired to answer the April 15, 1861 call of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) to supply a regiment of volunteer soldiers for the Union cause. Organizing at Omaha, the 1,000-member 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment was officially mustered in on June 11, 1861. Recruited from its ranks was a 13-piece brass band whose members were mostly German immigrants from Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa. The band accompanied its regiment into battle in Missouri, and at Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, and Corinth. On August 18, 1862, in compliance with Special Order #206 by Major General Samuel R. Curtis (1805-1866), Commanding Officer of the Army of the Southwest, the regimental band of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, along with all other regimental bands in the Union Army, was dissolved. Later the infantry regiment was converted to cavalry and sent to Ft. Kearney to defend the frontier from Indian attacks. This paper explores the details of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band and its members.

Nolan Hauta

New Horizon Bands

New Horizons ensembles are part of an international movement begun in 1991 by Dr. Roy Ernst of the Eastman School of Music. The concept is to help senior citizens begin musical instruction for the first time or to resume music-making after an extended hiatus. I have been the conductor of the Iowa City New Horizons Band during the summers of 2017, 2018, and throughout this 2018-2019 school year. Orchestras, while less common than bands, are also part of the New Horizons International Music Association. There are roughly 200 New Horizons ensembles throughout the world.

Friedemann Immer

New Thoughts on the Keyed Trumpet

This talk will examine a copy of an early Keyed Trumpet with 3 keys. Could this type be the sort of trumpet, Weidinger did use for the early pieces like Haydn, Kozeluch and Weigl? Also to be explored will be the description in Mitzlers article where it is written: „a trumpet without holes“ ca. 1740.  Ideas about such an instrument will be discussed.

Don Johnson

Chamber Works and Pedagogy for Keyed Trumpet in the Early Classical Period

Outside of the concerti by Haydn and Hummel, there were numerous chamber works written for keyed trumpet that offered unique settings of instrumentation for some of the newly created instruments in the Classical Period. This lecture will focus on works by Leopald Kozeluch, Johann Kunerth, and Josef Weigl as well as pedagogical resources for the keyed trumpet.

Don Larry

Sisters in Brass, A Harmonious Duet for New Mexico and Arizona Territories

The movements are intertwined and include such well known figures as Kit Carson, Federico Ronstadt (Linda's grandfather), Achille LaGuardia (Fiorello's father), and covers Indian bands, Ladies Bands, etc. I presented it at a History Convention of the Arizona Historical Society (of which I am also a member) and won a top award. At the end of the talk the Territorial Brass is mentioned as the descendant replication of the 19th century territorial brass bands of Arizona, performing and recording their music on two CDs. This talk will be expanded to include a more comprehensive history of our band touching on highlights of appearances at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville KY and the Presidential Inauguration Parade in 1993 as Arizona's ambassador, plus our evolution performing music from the Civil War, to Arizona's mining camp and town bands, to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Cowboy Band, to the USS Arizona's Last Band (US Navy Band #22), to the famed Phoenix Indian School Band of 1901 to 1906. 

Scott Muntefering

Women's Bands in Iowa: the Keota Ladies' Band (1908-1918) and the Knoxville Girls' Band (1915-1919)

In the early 1900s instrumental music study for females consisted mostly of instruction in piano or stringed instruments.  While professional ladies or women’s bands existed, there were limited opportunities to study and perform on wind and percussion instruments. 

During the same time, many towns in Iowa boasted their own local female bands.  Some were traveling groups and most served their communities with concerts and performances at special events, fairs, and conferences.  Two of the more popular female band organizations in Iowa in the early 1900s were the Keota Ladies Band of Keota, Iowa and the Knoxville Girls Band of Knoxville, Iowa.

The Keota Ladies band (1908-1918) was organized around 1905 by Mrs. Lola Gilbert and performed their first concert under the direction of Mr. O.W. Glass in November 1908.  They performed weekly concerts for their hometown of Keota and traveled to many communities in southeast Iowa.  They were invited to perform at many notable events including three performances at the 1917 Iowa State Fair.

The Knoxville Girls Band (1914-1919) was organized in 1914 by siblings Lawrence and Josephine Kurtz (grandmother of former San Francisco Symphony tubist Floyd Cooley).  Some of the local merchants in Knoxville had seen a visiting girls’ band perform and raised funds to purchase instruments and start the Knoxville Girls Band.  With no music program taught in the local high school, Lawrence (a cornetist) had to instruct all the girls on how to play their instruments.  A highlight of the band’s existence was five performances at the 1916 Iowa State Fair sharing the schedule with Liberati’s Band and the popular T. Fred Henry Band of Des Moines.

Glen Newton

The Mississippi River Brass Band

The Mississippi River Brass Band performs music in the time-honored tradition of the British brass band. It differs from other Minnesota-based British brass bands in its lack of permanence. It has appeared in two incarnations, formed specifically for European tours in the summers of 2013 and 2017. This presentation covers the genesis and membership of these touring bands, musical and cultural highlights of the tours, and unique challenges faced and overcome by the bands.

Michael O’Connor, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Father of Band Music in America: Thomas Coates, Life and Music

A rather grand monument in the city of Easton, PA cemetery proclaims the final resting place of Thomas Coates (1803–1895).  The marker bears the inscription, "Father of Band Music in America."  This is quite a claim for someone who is generally unknown today in the U.S. How did this so-called father of band music slip into such obscurity? Evidence from the middle years of the 19th century places him alongside such better-known names as Claudio Grafulla, Patrick Gilmore, and the Dodworth brothers as one of the top bandleaders of the era before Sousa. His music was performed widely from the 1850s until his death in 1895, and he was hailed by his contemporaries as being one of the most artistic composers for wind band. Still, contemporary band music histories rarely mention his name. Although the subsequent success of the Sousa style has relegated many of his predecessors’ names into obscurity, Coates’s name has receded more than the others.

I propose that the memorial inscription in Easton, while generous, is not pure hyperbole. Thomas Coates was a key figure in the establishment of the modern wind brass-and-reed wind band in the U.S., and he was a musical innovator who pushed the established conventions of form and harmony of the idiom.  This paper seeks to “re-place” Coates in the historical narrative of nineteenth-century wind-band music and discuss the challenges of realizing his music in our time. 

Bill Reynolds

Circus Band Workings

  The talk will be about the function of the circus band, as regard performance, and the operation of the show.  I will give a very brief personal history, and some history of circus music.

Joy Riggs

An Iowa Regimental Band’s 1906 Tour of the South

In 1906, the Iowa governor led a delegation of 150 Civil War veterans and a 25-piece brass band on a tour of the South to dedicate new battlefield monuments to Iowa soldiers at Vicksburg, Andersonville, Chattanooga, and Shiloh. The regimental band was led by Major George Landers, father of the Iowa Band Law, and included cornet soloist and Minnesota band director G. Oliver Riggs. This presentation will include photos and stories about this historic trip.

Jari Villanueva

Bugle Calls and Marches in the works of John Philip Sousa

Among the 137 marches composed by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) can be found some of the most stirring music ever written by an American composer. Sousa defined the “American” march form with its distinctive sound and construction. His output of marches began in 1873 with his composition “Review” and ended with his “Library of Congress” written, but left unfinished, shortly before his death. Sousa’s music epitomized the American spirit and his marches are played around the world by school and university ensembles, community bands, symphony orchestras, brass bands, military organizations and all types of musical groups.

Much has been written about the marches. They have been studied, analyzed, edited, arranged into various configurations, and recorded countless times. At the time of this writing, the United States Marine Band is in the middle of a multi-year project of recording the first comprehensive collection of Sousa’s marches since the 1970s. The recordings will be in chronological order and available for free download on the US Marine Band website, along with scrolling videos and PDFs of the full scores that include historical and editorial notes about each selection.

Throughout the past decades, editions of Sousa marches have been edited and published by Dr. Fredrick Fennell, (conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble), Mr. Loras Schissel (Sousa scholar and Library of Congress Music Supervisor), Mr. Keith Brion (Sousa scholar, Sousa impersonator and conductor of the New Sousa Band), Colonel (ret) John R. Bourgeois (former director of the US Marine Band), and others. Much of the editions deal with performance practices and correction of notes and articulations. These editions have helped improve the quality of performances for bands.

An overlooked facet of these works is the use of bugle marches and bugle calls incorporated into approximately 15 compositions. We listen to two of his most famous marches “Semper Fidelis” and “The Thunderer” (both written a year apart while Sousa served as the Leader (Director) of the US Marine Band) and are familiar with the sections that use a bugle march as a strain. These are but two selections that employ a bugle march (in these two cases marches taken from his 1886 manual “Instruction for the Field-Trumpet and Drum) and enhance the compositions greatly with their military flourish.

Bugle marches were very common in field music from about 1880 to the 1950s before they started to evolve into the DCI type of Drums and Bugle Corps format we have today. Sousa knew of this form of music with his time in the US Marine Band and later as the director of the Navy Bands at Great Lakes Training Center during World War I.

This presentation will look at those marches that use these bugle signals and bugle marches. It will also look at the derivation of the marches and any actual bugle calls placed into a march. We will also look at the field music publications and other works that incorporate bugle signals. Another aspect considered is the particular instrument Sousa had in mind when he wrote these bugle marches.