Fountain City Brass Band
The Fountain City Brass Band, founded in 2002, is a thirty piece brass and percussion ensemble that is based in Kansas City and draws its membership from around the United States. The band is committed to a mission of cultural enrichment through the presentation of concerts that are both entertaining and educational. Performing a wide variety of music including opera, jazz, Broadway, and modern compositions written especially for the brass band genre, the FCBB seeks to bridge the gap between popular and classical music. Offering casual, audience-friendly concerts, the band also actively seeks to initiate cultural revitalization and arts awareness in the local community. Since their first competition in 2004, the Fountain City Brass Band has won six U.S. Open Brass Band Championships and four North American Brass Band Championships. In November of 2009, the Fountain City Brass Band became the first American band ever, and the first non-UK band in over fifty years, to win a major brass band competition on UK soil at the Scottish Open Brass Band Championships.
At the end of the nineteenth century, there were over 18,000 brass bands in the United States. These bands were a central part of the cultural life of America at a time before the advent of the radio and other forms of mass media. Mindful of its responsibility towards this rich, but now endangered historical tradition, the FCBB strives to keep alive a vital part of early American heritage. Also aware of its responsibilities to future generations, the band is committed to education, offering a wide array of outreach programs designed specifically for schools and the community; including the bands of the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy.
The Fountain City Brass Band has been the host of a number of internationally known brass soloists and clinicians, including James Gourlay, Patrick Sheridan, Steven Mead, Roger Oyster, Gary Schutza, Stephen Bulla, Garry Cutt, Joe Burgstaller, Jens Lindemann, Wycliffe Gordon, Martin Hackleman, and Helen Tyler. Members of the thirty-piece ensemble have performed with such prestigious ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, Indianapolis Symphony, Empire Brass, United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” Mr. Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band, Black Dyke Band, Fodens Band, YBS Band, Halle Orchestra, Lieksa Symphony, and numerous New York City Broadway productions including Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. They have also taught on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities.