2015 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival
Latest News | June 11, 2015
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This weekend marks the 2015 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival. Bring the whole family, and come out to experience all your festival favorites while enjoying the workings of traditional Brass Band performers from all across the mid-Atlantic region.
The Brass Band has much more prominence in Gettysburg than you may expect. In an except published from George F. Patton’s 1875 A Practical Guide To The Arrangement of Band Music, the town of Gettysburg is referenced in the following statement: “When we see a town with flourishing enterprises, such as newspapers, schools, libraries, picture galleries, literary and scientific societies, concert halls, theaters, Brass Bands, etc., we need not be told that it is the dwelling place of intelligent and cultivated people.” The infamous three-day Civil War battle may have put this small borough on the map, but Gettysburg has also become known as a small college town rich with culture and cultivation. And this can be seen in its art and music.
For 17 years now the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival has been a popular occurrence in the borough, working in coordination with the Music, Gettysburg! Concert Series, Destination Gettysburg, and theNational Park Service at Gettysburg. Performers who have taken part in the festival have included military bands such as members of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the United States Army “Old Guard” Fife and Drum, the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, and the Quantico Marine Band, among others. The Festival has also welcomed in notable names in Brass Band circles including: the River City Brass Band, Boston Brass, and the Gramercy Brass Orchestra, as well as various brass quintets, a trombone quintet, Civil War period reenactment bands, British style brass bands, a brass choir, American style brass bands, Dixieland bands,community bands, “big bands” and drum and bugle corps, including the world champion Cadets.
This year’s festival will highlight plenty of talent. Thursday will kick-off the event at the Gettysburg Tour Center Hill Unger Stage on Seminary Ridge with the Adams County Community Band playing at 7 p.m. and the Gettysburg Big Band following at 8 p.m. Friday’s event will begin at 8 a.m. with theTuba Open Golf Brass Benefit. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gettysburg Brass will perform on the Dobbin House Patio in town. Antebellum Marine Band will perform at the Rupp House at 7 p.m. and theLancers Senior Drum & Bugle Corps will play at the Gettysburg Heritage Center at 8 p.m.
All of Saturday’s performances will take place at the Gettysburg Tour Center Hill Unger Stage on Seminary Ridge unless otherwise noted. At noon, Penn View Brass Band will play followed byRockville Brass Band at 1 p.m. Also taking place at 1 p.m. will be the Brass Instrument Petting Zoo.Spires Brass Band will play at 2 p.m. the same time Wildcat Regiment performs at the NPS Visitor Center Benfield Brass Band will play at 3 p.m., and the Buzz Jones Jazz Quartet will follow at 4 p.m., with special guest George Rabbai. Following that will be the Chesapeake Brass Band at 5p.m., theWildcat Regiment Band, at 6 p.m. at the PA Monument and the Atlantic Brass Band, also at 6 p.m., onsite. Athena Brass Band will play at 7 p.m. and a “Taps” Tribute will take place at historic sites at 8:30 p.m. Sunday performances will take place at various churches around town.
In addition to the entertainments to be had with live, onstage entertainment, the Festival is just what its name suggests—a festival. Join in for delicious food at the Community Brass Picnic happening onsite with plenty of options available at 2 p.m. on Saturday. As mentioned before, there will also be a Brass Band Petting Zoo, and children will have opportunities to take part in a number of activities including a chance to try out different brass instruments themselves. As you stroll through the Festival, you will also notice a number of Plein Air Artists about, capturing the whimsical surrounding beauty of Seminary Ridge. Artwork will be available for sale.
The Gettysburg Brass Band Festival is made possible through the donations and support of various individuals in the community. The program is supported in part by the Adams County Arts Council’s STAR Grant Program, which is funded by the Adams County Commissioners, the Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Endowment Trust, as well as the Borough of Gettysburg.