In the summer of 2012, a group of professional brass players and percussionists gathered to form a British-style brass band. Taking the name “Orchid City Brass Band” in honor of West Palm Beach, this group is now the premier ensemble of its type in South Florida.
The tradition of British-style brass band music-making originated during the Industrial Revolution as entertainment for the working class. This included miners and mill workers, primarily in the northeast of England. It produced a vast and appealing repertoire of serious and popular musical works, along with traditions of contesting and community engagement that has since proved appealing to audiences and musicians worldwide. This music is now available to audiences in South Florida.
The instrumentation combines cornets, tenor and baritone horns, euphoniums, trombones, tubas, and percussion to produce timbres that are unique to the British Brass Band tradition. Trumpets and French horns, standard in orchestras and concert bands, are not included. Today, British-style brass bands are located on every continent, in almost every country. Composers from around the globe continue to write and arrange music for this exquisite instrumentation and tradition.
The Orchid City Brass Band plays a wide variety of musical styles, in the tradition of British bands. Concerts feature everything from transcriptions of the classics, original works for brass bands, and arrangements of popular songs, movie scores, jazz, and stage works.
British Brass Bands are limited to specific instruments. The standard instrumentation (high to low) is: