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|Tour photos||Firefly628||0||Firefly628||7 years ago|
Group DescriptionThe Houston Brass Band was founded in 2000 by several enthusiasts, some of whom had become aware of the genre from the superb little film “Brassed Off!” After a rocky start, the budding ensemble got off the ground under the direction of Damon Hilsmeier, a music educator in the Pasadena Texas schools. For several years the group performed at festivals, concerts and public-service events, such as the annual Pearl Harbor Memorial on the deck of the Battleship Texas, an event the HBB continues to play for to this day. During this time, the band was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
In 2006, Houston Symphony trumpeter Robert Walp took over as Music Director after being introduced to the band by coaching the the cornets. This began a new era for the group. Rapidly the band’s improvement drew some of the most talented professionals and amateurs in the Houston area. The HBB moved to Christ the King Lutheran Church for its rehearsals and concerts, where it still performs regularly. The support of the musically educated audience at Christ the King has been a great boon to the band, notably at our annual concerts of German music. These concerts are musical thank-yous to the Houston Sängerbund, whose generous underwriting has enabled the band to build its library and embark on larger projects.
Houston’s international community has also been beneficial to the Houston Brass Band. Several British musicians have played in the HBB even from the group’s beginnings, but concerts in 2008 drew the attention of Chris Lewis, Head of Music at the British School of Houston. Chris, a marvelous cornet player, had been the conductor of the City of Coventry Brass Band, and very quickly Mr. Walp invited Mr. Lewis to be the band’s Assistant Conductor. Under Lewis and Walp, the ensemble has continued its remarkable improvement, and there is no end in sight!
In July of 2010 the Houston Brass Band performed for a sold-out Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center. Walp and Lewis led the band in a tremendously successful concert, an event which announced to Houston that a new musical ensemble of the highest quality was now in place. The Houston Brass Band is setting its sights high: plans for recordings, concerts, and tours are in production. The mission statement of the Houston Brass Band states it clearly: “The mission of the Houston Brass Band is to be one of the region’s premier musical ensembles, sharing the unique spirit and beauty of British-style brass band music…”
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