Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Member: Ben Gordon - Trumpet
Emily Heidelberger - Trumpet
Joe Poncelet - Trumpet/Vocals
Mary Rodberg - Tenor Sax
Trent Spatenka - Bari Sax
Tim Caturia - Trombone
Maggie Zeidel - Trombone
Cullen Blindauer - Trombone
Phil Huebner - Sousaphone
Curtis Wetzel - Sousaphone/Vocals
Mike Alberts - Drums
Forward Brass Band began in the fall of 2011 when eight UW Eau Claire students came together to learn “Brooklyn” by Youngblood Brass Band. A few months later the group was approached by the Eau Claire Jazz to perform in two events during the annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival. The band, then named Water Street Brass Band, was a big hit during the Eau Claire Jazz Festival’s "Jump Jive and Read" and "52nd Street" events, which they have done every year since.
Coming off that success, the band went on a short tour to schools in the Menomonie and Hastings areas. After performing at Varsity Night Live as a part of UWEC Homecoming in 2012, several members chose to leave Water Street Brass Band, and the group began the search for new members. By the time the band’s membership stabilized to prepare for the 2013 Jazz Festival, only 3 original members remained. Upon rebuilding the group, they decided it was time for an identity change, and they chose Forward Brass Band.
Since then, the band has found its stride, and its popularity within UWEC and the community has grown. Having elected to perpetuate the ensemble at the college, the group has found several individuals to replace old members who will soon be graduating and leaving the band. With new, young talent augmenting their sound, Forward Brass Band is looking forward to an exciting year with repeat performances at Varsity Night Live and 52nd Street, as well as the brand new event: Gatsby Gala in the coming year.
The band is currently at its largest size to date featuring eleven members, each from varying musical backgrounds and areas of study. Playing a wide variety of music ranging from traditional spirituals to the latest pop music hits, Forward Brass Band currently performs at various events in Eau Claire as well as at area schools to encourage students to remain active in music no matter where they go in life.
Forward Brass Band