3rd International HBS Historic Brass Symposium July 13-16

The abstracts for the presentations and the conference schedule (newly updated 7/5) are now available.

There will be a pizza party on Friday evening at St. Luke's in the Field Church after the concert. The cost will be $10. Please pay via paypal.com by send the funds to president@historicbrass.org or send a check to the HBS 148 West 23rd street #5F New York NY 10011. Please indicate that the $10 is for the pizza party.

Also, a bag lunch is available for Friday July 14th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The cost will be aproximately $10. Please email president@historicbrass.org to reserve a lunch.  As there are limited lunch opportunities in the Metropolitan Museum neighborhood, it is recommended to avail yourself of the bag lunch (sandwiches and sodas).
Current HBS membership is required. Please make sure you are paid up with membership.

2/13 - The HBS will present the 3rd International Historic Brass Symposium in New York City on July 13-16, 2017. Many of the community's leading scholars, performers, ensembles and instrument makers will be attending. Online registration and HBS membership is required. The  deadline to secure NYU housing will be June 7th.

Registration/Housing Info: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=1903912
Flyer including list of participants: click here.

Early Brass Workshop

6/12 - Brass Antiqua has announced the second annual Brass Antiqua: A Workshop for Early Brass. The Workshop is August 1-5, 2017 and held in Historic Winchester, VA. Clinicians are Barry Bauguess, Natural & Baroque Trumpets, Greg Ingles, Sackbut, and Kiri Tollaksen, Cornett. Daily Masterclasses, private lessons, informal evening performances, Grand Finale Concert for all, and an optional Sunday Mass performance on August 6, 2017

Go to Brass Antiqua for details and registration: www.brassantiqua.org

2017 Indiana Sackbut Workshop

3/2 - The 6th Indiana Sackbut Workshop will pay a visit to Renaissance Naples, a melting pot of Hispano-Italian culture and ideas. We will be touching upon late 15th-century alta-capella repertoire, mid-16th-century improvisation, and the development of extensive chromaticism in the later 16th and early 17th centuries. As always, we will work towards adopting the frame of mind of a Renaissance musician: in addition to lots of playing in small ensembles, there will be sessions on solmization, theory and composition, and musical language, which includes reading from original manuscript and print sources. Of course, we want everyone to challenge themselves on an appropriate level, so modern editions of all the music will also be provided.

As was the case last year, an optional extra day of just sackbuts and dulcians from Tuesday, May 23 at 12 PM to Wednesday, May 24 at 5 PM will allow us to explore the more chromatic music from around 1600. The official workshop for sackbuts and early double reeds runs from Wednesday, May 24 at 5 PM to Sunday, May 28 at 12 PM at Waycross Conference Center in Morgantown, IN.

Here is a link to all pertinent information concerning registration and fees: http://earlymusicinmotion.org/event-registration/?ee=35

If you have any specific questions about the workshop, please feel free to contact Adam Bregman (adam.bregman@gmail.com) or Juan Carlos (earlymusicinmotion@gmail.com). They are very excited (as always) about this workshop, so tell a friend and we look forward to seeing all those who are able to join us for this exploration and celebration of Neapolitan musical heritage!

Adolphe Sax Conference Proceedings

2/1 - The publication of the proceedings of Adolphe Sax, His Influence and Legacy: A Bicentenary Conference has just been announced. The conference held at the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels, was a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great instrument maker and was co-sponsored by the Historic Brass Society. The proceedings will be a special issue of the Revue belge de Musicologie vol.70 (2016). The proceedings can be ordered at the postal address of the Society: Rue de la Régence 30, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium, or via e-mail to Olivia Wahnon owahnon@gmail.com. The price is 40 Euros plus shipping (free shipping in Belgium, 9 Euros in Europe and 13 Euros in USA).

Editor’s note: at the time of this announcement the publication was not yet listed on their website: www.belsocmus.org.


Billiet, Jeroen, “Adolphe Sax en de conservatoria van Gent en Brussel: de spraakmakende experimenten met koperblazers met onafhankelijke ventielen (1869-1895)”

De Keyser, Ignace, “The Introduction of the Saxophone in Urban music in SubSaharan Africa”

Haine, Malou and Ignace De Keyser, “Le musée instrumental d’un artiste inventeur : la collection privée d’Adolphe Sax”

Haine, Malou, “Hector Berlioz, chantre inconditionnel d’Adolphe Sax”

Haine, Malou, “Un réseau d’influence : les démarches d’Adolphe Sax pour obtenir la croix d’officier de la Légion d’honneur”

Herbert, Trevor, “Adolphe Sax, His Saxhorns and Their International Influence”

Howe, Robert, “Adolphe Sax: Myths Noted and Debunked. Sax’s Brass Instrument Markings. The “Orchestral” Saxophones. Ophicleide-shaped Saxophones”

Péronnet, Patrick, “Saxons et Carafons : Adolphe Sax et le Gymnase musical militaire, un conflit d’esthétique”

Postma, Marten, “‘Le cône parabolique’? een onderzoek naar de boringsprofielen van Sax’ instrumenten"

Rice, Albert R., "The bass clarinets of Adolphe Sax: his influence and legacy”

Strauchen-Scherer, E. Bradley, “Museum piece: Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown and the instruments of the Sax family at the Metropolitan Museum of Art”

von Steiger, Adrian, “Sax Figures: Can We Deduce Details of Adolphe Sax’s Instrument Production from the Sources?”

Wahnon de Oliveira, Olivia, “De l’intérêt de Fétis pour les instruments Sax à la création de la classe de saxophone (1867) au Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles”

John Wallace and Brass for Beginners

11/15: Noted trumpeter John Wallace has recently collaborated with Kirsty Montgomery and Chris Hasselbring on the Brass for Beginners project. Brass for Beginners employs the use of history and natural trumpets to teach brass music to children. Wallace joined will join Montgomery and Hasselbring in a lecture demonstration at the London Music Expo this coming February and they will also do a presentation  at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference in New Jersey this coming April. A presentation with John Wallace is also planned for the HBS Symposium in New York on July 13-16, 2017. Detailed information on the project can be found at: https://brassforbeginners.com

Don Johnson (1955-2016)

10/18 - Mr. Donald Ray Johnson, Jr, age 61 of Raywick, KY, passed away Friday, October 14, 2016 in Bradfordsville, KY. He was born on July 24, 1955 in Lexington, KY. Mr. Johnson was a musician and a retired Captain of the Lexington Fire Department. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald Ray Johnson, Sr. and Iris Jeannine Vanwinkle Johnson, and his sister Karen Faye Shupp. He is survived by his wife Cindy Oakman Johnson--Raywick, KY, his son Donald Ray Johnson III--Cincinnati, OH, his daughter: Marie Ann Colletti--Brooklynn, NY, his brother Steven Lee Johnson--Paris, KY, three step-brothers David Wilds--Three links, KY, Joseph Wilds--Irvine, KY, Paul Wilds, and his sister Michelle Wilds--Hazard, KY.

A noted figure in historical brass performance, Don founded and led the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets. He organized and led President Lincoln's Own Band, a group featured in Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln (2012). When the crowd sings "We Are Coming Father Abraham" in that movie it is his cornet playing that you hear. An active figure in historical bands in Kentucky, Johnson played in the Advocate Brass Band, Danville, Kentucky for a number of years and was frequently heard on stage at the Great American Brass Band Festival. He also frequented our annual HBS Brass Symposiua, including this past year at the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, Minnesota, presenting on the keyed trumpet. We will always remember Don as a humble scholar, an energetic, passionate, and enthusiastic performer, and a person who has left us a legacy of wonderful recordings and insights into historical trumpet and cornet performance. For information on his recordings and life see http://kybaroquetrumpets.com/.

Steven Plank and Bryan Proksch

2017 HBS Symposium: New York, 13-16 July

Call For Papers and Performances

Historic Brass Society
International Historic Brass Symposium
July 13-16, 2017

New York University
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musical Instrument Collection

As at the 2012 Symposium in New York, many of the leading early brass performers, scholars, instrument makers, collectors, curators, and educators will be participating in our 2017 HBS International Symposium. Of special note will be the premiere performance of a newly commissioned composition for serpent and ophicleide, a special workshop and period-instrument performance of the music of James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hell Fighters 369th Regimental Band, as well as other performances and many lectures and round-table discussions.

The Historic Brass Society is accepting proposals for period brass instrument performances and early brass lectures. All early brass topics from Antiquity through to the 20th century will be considered. Please submit a one-page proposal for either a performance or lecture. Lectures will be 20 minutes with an additional 10 minute question and discussion period added. Performances typically are 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending upon size and nature of the ensemble. Keyboard accompanists will be available if needed.

Submission Deadlines: November 1, 2016 For Performance Proposals; December 1, 2016 For Paper Proposals

Please send proposals to: president@historicbrass.org.

Symposium Program Committee: Stewart Carter, Trevor Herbert, Jeff Nussbaum, Keith Polk, Bradley Strauchen.

2017 GABBF History Conference Call for Papers

8/3: The Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) in Danville, Kentucky announces a call for papers and presentations for the 2017 GABBF Brass Symposium. The Brass Symposium will be June 2, 2017, an educational event that serves as part of the Great American Brass Band Festival, which runs  June 1-4, 2017.

Presenters who are selected will be offered a $350 stipend plus free lodging on the Centre College campus.

Presentations are typically 25-30 minutes, plus 5 minutes for questions. There is no particular format required. Proposals may be academic paper presentations, performance demonstrations, historical lectures, or other formats. Creative or unusual presentation proposals are welcomed and encouraged. (Powerpoint, video and sound playback resources will be available to the presenter.)
The 2017 GABBF theme is "The Roaring Twenties," however, papers and presentations for the Brass Symposium are not required to be on this topic. Historically, presentations have been on topics such as  brass instruments,  brass bands, band history, performance practice, and music history/literature.

Proposals, or questions about proposals, should be sent via email to Jason Dovel  at Jason.Dovel -at- uky.edu.  If large files need to be sent, a Dropbox link is preferred.

Proposals must be received by November  1, 2016.

For more information, please visit:


The Historic Brass Society is an international music organization of amateur and professional brass musicians and scholars concerned with the entire range of brass music, from Antiquity to the present.  Find out more about us by clicking here.

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The HBS President is Jeffrey Nussbaum and the website/newsletter editor is Bryan Proksch.

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Recent Reviews

We frequently post reviews of new recordings, music editions and book. Here are our latest reviews:


2/13: Recording review of Breathtaking by Bruce Dickey and Hana Blazikova


1/5: Music edition review of Keyed Trumpet Editions by Jaroslav Roucek



12/21: Recording review of Chants d'Amour by Terra Nova

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