News & Events

Alan Lumsden, 1934-2020

Alan Frederick Lumsden passed away peacefully on the 30 September 2020. An exceptionally versatile musician on a large number of early brass and woodwind instruments, he was a founding member of the London Trombone Quartet, the London Cornett and Sackbut ensemble, and the London Serpent Trio. Alan held the positions of Professor of the Sackbut at the Royal College of Music, Professor of the Recorder and Early Music studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and Head of Brass at Malvern College.

2021 Monk Award Nominations

Members are reminded that nominations for the 2021 Monk Award must be received by 30 January. Nominations must comply with the procedures outlined on this site under 'Awards'.

"Pond Life: Crosscurrents over the Atlantic" May 24-26, 2021

UPDATED 5/24/2021: Click here for the full conference program

UPDATED 5/18/2021: Click here for the full and final conference schedule

The Historic Brass Society Virtual Symposium Pond Life: Crosscurrents over the Atlantic is being held online May 24-26, 2021.  The conference will focus on the exchange and cross-pollination of ideas between Britain, Europe and the Americas, with 18 presentations on topics including instruments, trade and manufacturing; the development of the brass quintet; British and American dance bands; repertoire, composers, performers; and performance practices.  Events include a Roundtable discussion on Brass Chamber Music moderated by John Miller with Allan Dean, Ray Mase, John Wallace, Simon Hogg and others; a session on British and American Dance Bands including a play along session led by Richard Michael (jazz educator); John Webb and His Collection of Brass Instruments with Arnold Myers, presentation of the Monk Awards (both 2020 and 2021 recipients), memorial tributes, and a livestream concert performance by The Wallace Collection of original 19th-century small brass ensemble music played on period instruments from the Webb  Collection at the RCS.

Registration is free and online at

It is required in advance in order to receive the codes for the online sessions.

POND LIFE: Crosscurrents over the Atlantic is made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and with additional support from St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh UK.

HBS Symposium connects brass players around the world

The HBS Symposium Pond Life: Crosscurrents over the Atlantic was held online May 24-26, 2021, with over 210 participants representing every continent. The symposium focused on the exchange and cross-pollination of ideas between Britain, Europe and the Americas, with 18 presentations on topics including instruments, trade and manufacturing; repertoire, composers, performers; and performance practices. It kicked off on Monday with the Keynote Address by Clifford Bevan, followed by a day filled with outstanding presentations. Tuesday featured memorial tributes, presentations, including John Webb and His Collection of Brass Instruments with Arnold Myers, and John Wallace chairing a session on British and American Dance Bands that included a play-along session led by Richard Michael (jazz educator) for both HBS members and students from New York public schools followed by a roundtable discussion with Cliff Bevan, Dan Block, Hilary Michael, and Richard Michael. Wednesday began with the final four presentations and the virtual presentation of the Monk Awards to Peter Holmes (2020) and Friedemann Immer (2021). John Miller led a Roundtable discussion on the Development of the Brass Quintet with Allan Dean, Tony George, Simon Hogg, Ray Mase, John Rojak and John Wallace, and the Symposium ended with a livestream concert from St Cecilia's in Edinburgh with The Wallace Collection performing 19th-century small ensemble music using period instruments from the Webb Collection and other private collections.

The full Symposium Program, with the schedule, abstracts and biographies is available here.

The presentations, roundtables, award ceremonies, memorials, and other documentation will be uploaded to playlists as part of the HBS YouTube Channel very soon, watch this space for more details!

POND LIFE: Crosscurrents over the Atlantic was made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and with additional support from The University of Edinburgh, St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh UK.



2021 HBS Membership Meeting

The Executive Committee and the Board of Directors are pleased to announce our first global virtual annual meetings. We have scheduled two meetings to better accommodate people's schedules and time zones.  We invite you to attend one -- or both if you wish!

The meetings are to be held:
January 16, 2021  9:00 AM EST (UTC -05:00 or 14:00 UTC)
January 17, 2021  1:00 PM EST (UTC -05:00 or 18:00 UTC)

Holman's Preliminary Inventory of American Bands

Gavin Holman has posted a preliminary version of his extensive catalog/inventory of American bands entitled Brass Bands and Cornet Bands of the USA: A Historical Directory. The document references 8,700 bands by name, and is intended as an aide for future research. He notes that he has only done extensive work up to about 1872 in the current version! To view it, click here:

New Wallace Collection Releases

The Wallace Collection, led by John Wallace, has recently released three new recordings: The Origin of the Species Revisited, 4 of the quintets by the 19C composer Jean-Francois Bellon played on period instruments; The Golden Age of the 19th Century Brass Virtuoso with John Wallace (on an 1862 Bayley Acoustic cornet) and Anthony George (playing a Gautrot ophicleide, ca. 1845) demonstrating the flair of 19th century instrumental showcase pieces; and The Wallace Collection On Song, with recording debuts for a collection of new contemporary works for brass ensemble and brass with voice.  Additionally, new editions of three pieces from The Golden Age. have also been published: John Hartmann's "The Watch on the Rhine", Alexander Owens' "Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye", and Handel's "O Ruddier Than the Cherry".  These editions and CDs are available for purchase through the ensemble's website (; the CDs are also available from, and other leading CD retailers. Streaming and digital purchases will be forthcoming in the new year.

Beloved Member Martha Bixler Dies at 93

It is with great sadness that we announce the death by natural causes of founding member Martha Bixler at the age of 93. Martha has been a key figure in the growth of the American recorder and early music movement since the 1950s.

She held Bachelor degrees from Smith College and the Yale University School of Music and a Master's degree from Brooklyn College. She has long been active with the American Recorder Society (ARS). She was a member of the Board of Directors, twice President of the organization, editor of the Members' Library Editions and active on various committees. Her personal story of the first fifty years of the American Recorder Society, The American Recorder Society and Me; a Memoir, is available on the ARS web site.

She taught recorder, harpsichord and early dance at various colleges including Wagner College and Sarah Lawrence College, as well as at innumerable recorder and early music workshops around the United States, Canada, England and Ireland. As a performer, she played with a number of prominent early music ensembles including the New York Pro Musica, Musica Sacra, the Bach Aria Group and the Berkshire Bach Society.

She was the editor of a number of arrangements for recorders and recorded for Columbia Records and Decca Gold Label.

She also enjoyed playing viol and sackbut and was a regular participant at our Historic Brass Festivals. She, along with her good friends Susan Wilcox and Charlotte Leonard, were known at the annual Historic Brass Festivals as the "Sackbut Sisters".

Click on the title of this article to read the full version including some memories of Martha by the two remaining "Sackbut Sisters".

Proposal for a New HBS Publication with New Opportunities for Members

11/29/2020 UPDATE: There will be an information session and brain storming discussion on December 12 at 1:00 PM EST (UTC -05:00)

To receive the meeting link and password, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Deadline December 12 at 12:00 PM EST)


Possible New Publishing Opportunities with the HBS!

Would you like more opportunities to be involved with publishing with the HBS?

We are very excited to announce the formation of an Exploratory and Planning Committee for a possible new online publication and are looking for members who would be interested in working on the planning, creation and running of this publication. Read this article to learn more!

Jeremy Montagu 1927-2020

montaguJeremy Peter Samuel Montagu (1927-2020), one of the foremost authorities on musical instruments of our time, has died peacefully surrounded by family following a short period of illness. Like the extensive collection of musical instruments and the library that he amassed in his Oxford home, Montagu’s multifaceted career as a scholar, author, musician, and curator was notable for its global purview and interdisciplinary breadth.

Announcement of HBS Elections and Restructuring

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Historic Brass Society is being restructured with additional opportunities for participation and elections are scheduled for November of 2020. The Board has been working over the past year to rewrite the By-Laws and promote greater participation among the HBS Membership and provide regular turnover in the senior leadership positions.

For details, please read this document and refer to the HBS Leadership and Staff Positions and Committees page for details on leadership, editorial, staff and committee positions.

Deadline for nominations for elected positions was October 15, 2020.

Update - October 17, 2020 - FINAL:

The slate of candidates for elective positions has been updated once again and finalized. No further nominations for ELECTIVE positions will be accepted, but there are still openings on the Membership and Events committees as well as the New Publication Exploratory Committee.  Click here to view the list of candidates.  

Important: Ballots will be sent to 2020 members of record as of 10/17/2020 THIS WEEK and voting will be open for a period of one month. The email with your unique link to the voting system will come from so you may wish to white list this domain in your email to ensure that your ballot does not go into your spam filter.

Update - September 9, 2020:

The Board of Directors has completed its revisions to the By-Laws. There will be a ballet item on the November ballet to approve the adoption of the new By-Laws. To learn more and to review the proposed By-Laws, see the By-Laws of the Historical Brass Society page.

Also, the nominations process is off to a good start with a few nominations for all positions plus a few requests for postings to the various staff positions and committees in our announcement. There is still time to throw your hat into the ring for Vice President, Secretary or Director, and we still have plenty of opportunities on committees and on staff to help run various aspects of the organization so please submit your name or the name of someone else for consideration to the Nominating committee.

It's Election Season 2021!!

Voting for the 2021 election is now closed and the results are in. This is an archival news item.

All 2021 members of record as of 11/7/2021 will receive a ballot from on 11/15/2021 with a unique code and link.  Use that link to vote for the positions below.

Click here to view the full slate of candidates with their CVs and candidacy statements.

Vice President

As you know, our founder and longtime President Jeff Nussbaum is stepping down at the end of this year so we held elections a year ago for new officers including vice president.  The vice president, who is also the "president-elect", normally serves for two years, assisting the president and "learning the ropes", and then steps into the role of president for two additional years. Stan Curtis was elected and is serving one year in that role instead of two since Jeff wishes to step down at the end of 2021, and will become president in January for two years. In this election we have only one candidate on the ballot, Elisa Koehler.


Among the other changes made were term limits for officers and members of the Board of Directors. Directors now serve 3-year terms and may be run for re-election for one additional consecutive term. To accomplish the new rotation, two members of Board who had been appointed prior to last year's election needed to volunteer to have their terms end this year and a single Board position would be open for election this year. Those Board members are Steven Lundahl and Arnold Myers. They are both running for reelection (no other candidates applied) but there is now only one position open in this election cycle.

NEW!! Member, Editorial Board of the Historic Brass Journal

Executive Editor Stew Carter, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors are excited to announce changes in the composition of the Editorial Board as well as a new internship program! (Watch for more on that later...)

To further promote transparency, accessibility and diversity, Editorial Board procedures have been revised to enable the membership of the Historic Brass Society to nominate and elect 50 percent of the Editorial Board members. Members may nominate themselves or others for candidacy. To ensure the continued expertise and capabilities of the Editorial Board, nominees should meet the main criteria outlined on our website. All nominations will be reviewed by the Nominating Committee and a slate of candidates who meet the job specification criteria will be presented to the membership during the upcoming Board Election cycle.

We will soon post details of those changes as well as of the new internship program.

Elections are now Open!

The Nomination Period was open through November 7. Nominations closed on 11/7 and electronic voting is open from 11/15 to 12/15. You must be a member of record for the 2021 membership year by the end of November 7th to vote. All members of record by the close of 11/7/2021 will receive an email on 11/15/2021 from with their unique ballot link.

You can view the descriptions and requirements of each position here: Leadership and Staff Positions and Committees

As always, we continue to seek additional volunteers for staff positions and committees. In particular we need additional help with membership and website and other technical assistance.