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Desert Brass Band announces spring concerts in Sun City

Posted 2/21/24

The Desert Brass Band, a West Valley British-style brass band, is giving two spring concerts this year.

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Desert Brass Band announces spring concerts in Sun City


The Desert Brass Band, a West Valley British-style brass band, is giving two spring concerts this year.

The first is 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at Willowbrook United Methodist Church , 19390 N. 99th Ave.; the second is 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at Bellevue Heights Church, 9440 W. Hutton Drive.

The Willowbrook concert will have a $5 charge at the door. The Bellevue Heights concert will be free with a free-will offering.

The Desert Brass Band was featured in the recently released documentary film, “Jewel of the Desert,” which just completed a month-long showing at the Fat Cats Theater and Entertainment Center in Surprise.

The film is being entered in various film festival competitions world-wide.

These concerts will feature a variety of musical styles from traditional to modern, showcasing the unique sound of a British brass band.

The concerts will feature several soloists including West Valley trumpet player Dan Reed, former Stan Kenton lead trumpet Mike Vax and Euphonium virtuoso Bryan Altherr. The band is directed by Charles Musgrave, and the associate conductor is Dr. Bob Ouren.

Familiar favorites with exciting new arrangements will be featured, including “Abba Goes Brass,” ‘Bandstand Boogie,” “Adagio from Concerto De Aranjuez,”  “Breezin’ Down Broadway” and many more.

Organized in 1997 as the Renaissance Brass, the Desert Brass Band’s name was later changed to portray a more exciting, energetic, contemporary style compatible with the band’s preference.

The band is organized and plays in the style of the British brass bands, which are normally limited to 35 members. The traditional British brass bands date back to the early nineteenth century and the English Industrial Revolution.

With increasing urbanization, employers began to finance work bands to decrease political activity with which the working classes seemed to be preoccupied during their leisure time.

Thus, the brass band tradition was founded. Contests are the lifeblood of many in the brass band world with strong rivalries. British brass bands are also popular in Japan, Australia, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

There has been a resurgence in the popularity of brass bands in America in the last 50 years. Instrumentation consists of cornets, flugelhorn, alto horns, baritones, trombones, euphoniums, tubas and percussion.

Desert Brass band members are experienced musicians and must meet audition standards. Most come from the Sun Cities and West Valley area, while some reside in outlying regions.

Most are retired from professional life and play in one or more musical groups in addition to Desert Brass.

Several are retired music professors and teachers, band directors and professional musicians. Desert Brass Band is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Visit Desertbrassband.org for  information.