BRASS BAND OF THE WESTERN RESERVE

BBWR is in a rather celebratory mood at this time!

It was in the Summer of 1997 that, after learning that the experienced and successful brass band director, Dr Keith M Wilkinson, was residing in north-east Ohio, a group of brass and percussion players gathered together to read through some brass band literature.  The enthusiasm generated by these initial sessions led to the band being formed in the Fall of that year.  High musical standards were immediately established and these have been maintained as the band has shared its talents with countless audiences.

Each year the band presents a Concert Series of five concerts, often with guest artists, and 2017-18 marks the fifth year that these events will take place at the impressive Medina Performing Arts Center.  Additionally BBWR receives several invitations to play at other locations, many of these are repeat bookings.  Prestigious concert venues have included The Amphitheater, Chautauqua Institution, Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside Chautauqua and Severance Hall, Cleveland.  Summer concerts include a July 4th performance, followed by fireworks, at Fairlawn.

Wherever BBWR performs its audiences are captivated by the wide variety of music presented as well as the band’s  ability to impressively perform repertoire ranging from quiet and delicate to strong and powerful.  You can judge how successful the band is in achieving the high goals it has set for itself by witnessing the warm and enthusiastic support of its listeners.

 

Major emphasis

The major emphasis of BBWR’s activities is the presentation of dynamic concerts, taking the vibrant brass band sound and a wide variety of repertoire to its enthusiastic audiences.

Membership of the band

Membership of the band is by audition and, in addition to music educators and music students, several other professions are represented.

Recordings

The band has recorded several highly-acclaimed CDs and its most recent one, Fanfare And Celebration, was released in early 2013.

Home concerts

 The band presents its own Concert Series, five concerts each year, often with guest artists at the Medina Performing Arts Center.

Outdoor Concerts

Prestigious concert venues have included The Amphitheater, Chautauqua Institution, Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside and Severance Hall, Cleveland.

Brass Quintet

Summer wedding, small five piece concert.

Dr. Keith M. Wilkinson

Dr. Keith M. Wilkinson moved to the United States with his wife, Audrey, and daughters, Debbie and Katie, in 1996.  He has been delighted to play an integral part in the development of Brass Band Of The Western Reserve from its origins to the high standards it displays now.

Prior to his move Keith enjoyed long and successful periods as music director of leading championship bands in England, the GUS Band and William Davis Band.  He was also in demand to travel, around Europe as well as in Britain, as a guest conductor and adjudicator.  Among these appearances he was principal guest conductor of Newtongrange Silver Band (Scotland) and Brass Band Fribourg (Switzerland).  Since moving to USA he was pleased to be principal guest conductor for a while of St Louis Brass Band.

Keith is able to accept invitations for guest appearances and in 2017 these have included being guest conductor at the Mid-Atlantic Brass Band Festival, held at Rowan University, NJ, and adjudicating at the North American Brass Band Championships.  The last couple of years have also seen him traveling across the Atlantic to conduct Helston Town Band (Cornwall), Newtongrange Silver Band (Scotland) and the William Davis Band for a special charity performance.

Regarding his appearances with Newtongrange one commentator wrote “a welcome return to the UK of a conductor of proven 24 carat class “.  (Iwan Fox, www.4barsrest.com.)    

In March, 2008, Keith was presented the God And Country Music Award by The Salvation Army and Brass Band of Columbus for “his outstanding contributions to brass banding in USA, Britain and Europe”.

Keith tried his hand at brass band orchestration while still in high school and this aspect of banding has continued to hold his attention.  He has more than 100 published arrangements with publishers in Britain, Switzerland and USA.  Some of his arrangements have been used as test pieces at major championships.  In order to make his arrangements available more rapidly he has formed his own publishing company, Alum Creek Music (www.alumcreekmusic.com).

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