The Eastern Iowa Brass Band grew from a brass ensemble that was part of the Mt. Vernon, Iowa, City Band in 1985 after Don Stine, director of the city band, attended a seminar on the growing brass band movement in the United States. Regular rehearsals began soon thereafter, and the band competed in its first North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) Championship in April of 1986 where they placed second in their class. The strong showing at such a prestigious competition prompted the founders to incorporate and formed the foundation for what is now one of the most prominent amateur brass bands in the country.
British band instrumentation features horns which are conical in design, producing a mellow, rich sound that is both dynamic and colorful. EIBB conforms to the unique British band style, characteristically limiting its instrumentation to brass, including cornets, flugelhorn, tenor horns, euphoniums, baritones, trombones, and tubas, as well as percussion.
The 35-member band performs from a repertoire which features original works for brass band, as well as arrangements of well known orchestral and wind band literature. In addition, featured soloists are frequently used in concert programs which also include marches, medleys, hymn tune arrangements, folk songs, American patriotic offerings, Broadway showtunes, and novelty features. The majority of the band’s concert schedule takes place during the summer months for community celebrations, civic events, and countless special festivals. They have performed in a variety of settings, from ornate concert halls to outdoor parks.
The Eastern Iowa Brass Band hosts its own annual brass band festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, attracting bands from all around the country. Local audiences can also hear the band at three annual subscription concerts presented in April, September, and December.
The EIBB has competed in the NABBA annual championship competition since 1986 and has been named division champions six times. They have also won seven NABBA video competitions. In 1991, the band was featured by the Smithsonian Institution in the Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C. On four occasions EIBB has been invited to present a feature program at the annual convention of the Iowa
Bandmasters Association, and recently performed to a sellout crowd at the American School Band Directors Association convention.
The US Open Championships started in 2003. For all but one year, the EIBB has competed. In 2008 the EIBB was awarded 3rd place out of the 7 bands that competed, the best we’ve ever finished.
In addition, Director Casey Thomas was awarded “Best New Composition or Arrangement” for his transcription of Robert Jaeger’s Esprit de Corps.
Eastern Iowa Brass Band
Location: Mount Vernon, IO
Member: Conductor: Alex Beamer
Eb Soprano: Dennis Modracek
Cornets: Paul Waech, Steve Kenny, Beth Villhauer, Jeff Fountain, Mike Coleman
Keri Speidel, Karla Beckman, Joe Forrest, Michelle Laird
Flugel: Dan Davies
Eb Horns: Judy Stine, Ray Colony, Peter Laird, Bob Upmeyer
Euphonium: Todd Bransky, Ben Reid
Baritone: Melissa Karr, Don Stine
Tenor Trombones: David Anderson, Mike Lacy, Paul McNally, Lee Tippe
Bass Trombone: Paul Upmeyer
Eb Tuba: Dawn Stephens, Bob Yeats, Chris Bird
Bb Tubas: Bob Driggs, Steve Schomberg
Percussion: Alan Kiser, Myka Forrest, Dave Huntley, Jen Boyens
Announcer: Dave DeHoff
Merchandise: Becky Bunting