Dear Friends of Milwaukee Festival Brass,
Welcome to the 30th Season of the Milwaukee Festival Brass! What a fantastic milestone for us to celebrate together. Thirty years of bringing together thirty of Milwaukee’s finest brass and percussion players. Thirty years of making music to dazzle and delight audiences. Thirty years preserving and advancing the traditions of the British brass band. This season, we will take a look back at our journey here, while also eagerly anticipating what our future holds.
We kick off the season with this bi-directional outlook right away on our Autumn program, which is enigmatically titled “Not Much…You?” Longtime fans of the iconic Wisconsin-based NPR radio quiz “Whad’Ya Know?” will recognize the show’s signature opening tag line (borrowed as our concert theme), along with its singular celebration of all things Wisconsin. We begin by highlighting a number of different achievements in music made by Wisconsin musicians, composers, and arrangers. But after intermission, our focus shifts to a different kind of “not much” as we explore the musical phenomenon known as Minimalism, in which composers challenge themselves to take the smallest fragment of music possible and somehow spin it into an interesting composition.
Both our traditional Holiday concert and our Winter program will mark the band’s move to our new home performance space, the beautifully renovated Wendy Joy Lindsey Theater in the Father Robert V. Carney Performing Arts Center on the campus of Pius XI High School. The December concert will feature a number of traditional holiday favorites, including new arrangements for brass band by Wisconsin’s own Andrew Wainwright.
Our 30th Season Gala Concert Event will be one you won’t want to miss! Welcoming back performers, soloists, and conductors from our thirty seasons together, we will celebrate the many accomplishments and fellowship shared by Milwaukee’s only British Brass Band. We will also look forward, as we present a preview of the band’s upcoming journey to Fort Wayne, Indiana to perform in the annual North American Brass Band Championships.
“Impressions of Japan” will conclude our 30th season, featuring works of Japanese composers and arrangers, folk melodies, and conceptual themes. This special concert will also spotlight performances by the talented young artists of our High School Apprentice Program.
I would like to especially draw your attention to the activities of our program for younger, developing musicians: the Milwaukee Festival Youth Brass. This exciting ensemble yields tremendous rewards for younger brass and percussion students, and is an ideal place for them to grow in technique, musicianship, and brass band camaraderie. If you know of a young person who could benefit from this outstanding program, we invite you to visit our website to learn more.
We look forward to seeing you soon with the Milwaukee Festival Brass. Here’s to the next thirty years!
Mark A. Taylor
So there you have it. I think the best way to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Festival Brass is to attend their concerts! And I bet Maestro Mark Taylor, and all the volunteer members of the Milwaukee Festival Brass, would agree.