The River City Brass Band (River City Brass, RCB) is a modified British-style brass band based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 28-piece ensemble tours extensively throughout the United States with more than 20 performances each year as part of community concert series across Western Pennsylvania.
On November 21, 1981, under the baton of conductor Robert Bernat, the River City Brass took to the Carnegie Music Hall stage for its inaugural concert. Building upon the long-standing tradition of brass bands popularized in Great Britain and the United States, RCB features 25 brass players and 3 percussionists. RCB differs from most brass bands in that the instrumentation has been altered. French Horns are used instead of alto horns, and an Eb soprano trumpet is employed in place of a soprano cornet. The result of the soprano trumpet is a lighter, brighter, more "orchestral" sound than the traditional brass band. The Band has been a featured performer at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts (Australia), Musikfest (Pennsylvania), Chautauqua Institution (New York), New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, Interlochen Center for the Arts, (Michigan), and Thalian Hall (North Carolina), among many other venues across the world. Since 1986, River City Brass has run a youth program, known as the River City Youth Brass Band, which enables young musicians to hone their craft under the close supervision of professional players as part of the band's overall mission.
"The mission of the River City Brass is to propagate and perpetuate musical culture, primarily American musical culture, across a broad spectrum of the public through the presentation of brass band performances, educational programs and the production of recordings. The River City Brass has as its central obligation service to the people of Western Pennsylvania."
As of August 2010, River City Brass has been led by internationally renowned tuba soloist and British conductor, James Gourlay.
1981-1994 Robert Bernat,
1994-2009 Denis Colwell,
2010-Present James Gourlay,
A list of the principal band members of the River City Brass Band as of 2013:
Conductor: James Gourlay,
Principal Soprano Cornet: Jeffrey Nicodemus,
Principal Cornet: Bernard Black,
Solo Cornets: Jordan Winkler, Jennifer Dearden, Joseph Perrino,
Repiano Cornet: William Hughes,
2nd Cornets: Adam Leasure, Mark Custer,
3rd Cornets: Paul Lennartz, David Auman,
Principal Flugelhorn: Drew Fennell,
Principal Horn: David Piecka,
Horns: Kenneth Russo, Jason Allison,
Baritones: Koichiro Suzuki, Ross Cohen,
Principal Euphonium: Matthew Murchison,
Euphoniums: Lance LaDuke/Fernando Deddos,
Principal Trombone: John Olsson,
Trombone: Randy Bibri,
Bass Trombones: Hakeem Bilal,
Principal Tuba: Samuel Buccigrossi,
Eb Tubas: James Stillwagon,
Bb Tubas: John Urling, Brian Kiser,
Principal Percussion: Richard Parsons,
Percussion: Paul Evans, Philip Webster,
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license