Articles

  • September 1, 2006

    Ursula Menzel (1939-2006)

    By chance Ursula Menzel came in contact with brass instruments, but then quickly sought formal training. In the late 1950s she gained some experience in this field while assisting in a brass instrument workshop in Hamburg. There, she realized that music and the crafts could be combined perfectly in this profession.

  • By Jeffrey Nussbaum

    On July 11, 2007 The Historic Brass Society presented a day-long symposium at the 18th International Musicological Society Congress in Zurich, consisting of two sessions that dealt with two aspects of transition, the theme of the Congress: transitions in repertoire and transitions in performance cultures. These two themes are clearly related but they provided a useful focus for papers that dealt with a wide chronological range (e.g., fifteenth-century English music and the origins of modernist technique) and an equally broad spectrum of musical styles (from the instrumental music of sixteenth-century Venice to early jazz). The IMS presents an International Congress every five years and this day-long symposium was the third time the HBS participated in those conferences -- the first time in 1997 in London, and the second in 2002 in Leuven. Keith Polk was unable to attend the conference and his paper was read by Trevor Herbert with Jeff Nussbaum chairing the session in his absence. Rodolfo Baroncini was also unable to attend. The talk titles and abstracts are listed below.

  • The 24th Annual Historic Brass Society Early Brass Festival had the theme “Moments of Change: Zorzi to Armstrong. Key moments of change in brass music from medieval wind bands to jazz.” This theme provided the impetus for a wide range of fascinating presentations on the campus of Loyola University in New Orleans on July 24–27, 2008. Festival Co-director and Loyola trumpet professor, Jeremy Brekke, started the festivities on Thursday while HBS President, Jeff Nussbaum did battle with the faltering airline industry, cancelled flights, and long delays but managed to finally arrive in New Orleans 18 hours later than originally planed. The first event of the EBF was a tour of the Hogan Jazz Archives at neighboring Tulane University by curator Bruce Raeburn. Later in the day, Raeburn presented a wonderful talk on Sam Morgan’s jazz band. (All paper titles and abstracts are listed below. The most special aspect of this year’s Festival was the participation of the keynote speaker, the noted scholar, composer, educator, and horn virtuoso, Gunther Schuller. At 82 years old, Schuller seemed decades younger, exhibiting remarkable energy, participating in all the sessions, and engaging the speakers and EBF participants to everyone’s delight. While the number of participants was lower than in recent years, no doubt due to the poor economy, high price of gas, and the high price and general disastrous state of the airline industry, participants did have great fun in the informal playing sessions, most noticeably the natural trumpet ensemble and the serpent and ophicleide players.

  • The Rehousing and Return of the Louisiana State Museum's Music Collection

    The Louisiana State Museum, founded in 1906 and headquartered in New Orleans, encompasses a network of fourteen facilities located across the state. Its collections comprise the largest and broadest extant holdings of fine and decorative arts, historical artifacts, and research materials documenting Louisiana history and culture. During Hurricane Katrina, the LSM's Old U.S. Mint, a National Historic Landmark located in the French Quarter and constructed in 1835, was severely damaged. Its copper roof blew off; water ruined interior finishes and the HVAC system ceased to function. At the time of the hurricane, the 71,000-square-foot facility housed exhibitions on jazz, Louisiana decorative arts, and the history of the Mint itself. In addition, approximately 60% of the LSM's collections were stored in the building, including its entire, internationally renowned jazz collection. While a relatively small number of artifacts were water damaged, the threat of mold forced the emergency evacuation of artifacts to a temporary, 20,000-square-foot storage facility in Baton Rouge. The evacuation was carried out over a period of eight months and involved both LSM permanent staff as well as professionals specially recruited for the purpose.

  • by Yury Gusev

    Saratov is located on the west bank of the Volga River and was founded as a fortified city in 1590. At that time it protected Moscow from barbarian attacks. Archival documents and headlines in the town's first newspaper, the Saratov Provincial Newspaper (1838), inform us (using long-forgotten names and vague descriptions) about playing on wind instruments and the formation of an orchestra. In the first half of the 19th century, serf orchestras played for Golitsyn's princes, the owner of the first Saratov theatre, in Zubrilovka, Kurakin in Nadezhdino, Gladkov. Governor Panchulidzev hired one Gerdlichek, a Czech, to manage the musical establishment.

  •  by Raul Camus

    The International Wind Music History Conference sponsored by the Historic Brass Society and the International Society for the Investigation and Promotion of Wind Music (IGEB) and hosted by Paul Niemisto of St. Olaf College was held from July 27 to 31, 2006. The conference gave scholars from Europe and America a chance to present new research, discuss matters of general interest, make new friends, and share experiences of importance to those working in the areas of band and wind music research.

  • By Jeffrey Nussbaum

    The 22nd Annual HBS Early Brass Festival was just that and much more. Held in Northfield, MN on July 27-August 1, 2006, it was a joint conference with the Austrian organization, Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Forderung der Blasmusik (IGEB) [The International Society for the Investigation of Wind Music Research], titled, "Music Away from Home: Wind Music and Cultural Identity: An International Conference." Thirty-seven scholars presented papers on a wide range of subjects dealing with the conference theme. Running concurrently was The Vintage Band Festival with 21 wind ensembles performing in the Northfield town square and in bars, restaurants and every nook and cranny of the town imaginable.