KPBX Kids' Concert: Spokane British Brass Band
*Photos coming soon*
Spokane Public Radio began to celebrate 36 years with a special KPBX Kids’ Concert featuring the Spokane British Brass Band on January 16. The hour-long, free concert took place at 1 p.m. in the Bing Crosby Theater, Downtown Spokane. Celebrating the birthday of SPR’s first station, KPBX, and the move to Fire Station No. 3, this Kids’ Concert embraced the glorious, vibrant, and exuberant soundscape of the large brass ensemble.
The Spokane British Brass Band was led by director Chris Grant, who is a percussionist, composer, and music educator. He took over the group in October 2015, preparing 45 major concerts for this year alone.
The British began forming bands of 30 brass instruments as an after-work activity during the mid-nineteenth century. It didn’t take long, however, for this recreational activity to turn competitive. British Band Championships are akin to the Super Bowl for football fanatics in the United States. A typical British brass band includes cornets, flugel horns, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, tenor and bass trombones, and tubas as well as a few percussion parts.
Spokane musician Michael Warner founded the group in 1995 after an eye-opening trip to Britain, during which he discovered the sound of the British Brass Band. He returned home to Spokane and sought to recreate what he saw with some of the best brass players in Eastern Washington.
At the free KPBX Kids' Concert, the Spokane British Brass Band played a variety of familiar horn music, including Frosty the Snowman and the Star Wars Imperial March. SPR’s Chief Engineer, Jerry Olson, is a tubist in the SBBB, highlighting once again the special connection SPR has with the Spokane music community.