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The New Sousa Band

  Sponsored by

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2018
6:00PM
SKYLINE BALLROOM W375AB

 

 

The New Sousa Band, begun in 1979, is a realization of director Keith Brion's dream to reincarnate the Sousa Band and once again tour America's towns and cities.

The musicians of the New Sousa Band are chosen for their ability to transmit the original style, spirit and ensemble sound of Sousa's Band. They are selected from major orchestras, military bands, university faculties and freelance musicians. The band wears authentic replicas of the original Sousa Band uniforms.

Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band have toured extensively in the East, Middle West and the Southeastern United States. The band made their first overseas tour to Japan in August 1996 and in China in 2010-11. In Nov. 1993, the band played their first theatrical engagement with a one week appearance at the Cristy Lane Theatre in Branson MO. They have appeared regularly in every section of the United States. In 2000 they were presented by the Minnesota Orchestra, and in May 2002 by the Seattle Symphony. They have also appeared at the Music Man Museum in Mason City IA for the Meredith Willson birthday celebration.

Mr. Brion and his band appeared in a 1986 PBS-TV special, The New Sousa Band On Stage at Wolftrap, now available as a video and as a laserdisc by Proscenium Entertainment. Excerpts from this show appear from time to time on the Classic Arts Channel.

The band's recordings include The Original, All-American SOUSA!, released by Delos Records, and The Sousa Legacy, on Bainbridge records, recorded with both the New Sousa Band and the Rochester Philharmonic.

Currently, the band's repertoire is chosen primarily from works programmed in Sousa's lifetime, Each concert (just like the original) includes classical works, light music, virtuoso solos and novelties. Sousa's marches are performed only as encores and announced by cue cards. Usually 8-12 marches are played on each program.

Classical works have included a dozen "standard" overtures, Pines of Rome, Death and Transfiguration, intros to Act. III of Lohengrin and Meistersinger, grand marches from Mahler 2nd Symphony, Aida, Tannhauser, March Militaire Francaise, many of the band pieces of Percy Grainger, etc.

Among those wind virtuosos appearing with the band have included, trombone, Fred Mills, trumpet, Robert Birch, Carleton Rowe and Dennis Najoom, cornetists, Earle Louder, Luis Maldonado and Gail Robertson  euphoniums, Christian Lindberg and Larry Zalkind, trombones, Don Harry, tuba and John Beck, xylophone.

Keith Brion, Music Director of his own New Sousa Band, has appeared as a frequent guest conductor with the nearly all of America's major symphony orchestras and professional bands.  His New Sousa Band, begun in 1979 is a realization of Mr. Brion's dream to reincarnate the Sousa Band and once again tour America's towns and cities.  

The musicians of the New Sousa Band are chosen for their ability to transmit the original excitement, performance practice, spirit and sound of Sousa's Band. While the band is nationally constituted many of the players have been with the band for an extended period allowing the band to maintain its period performance style. The musicians were selected from major orchestras, military bands, university faculties and freelance musicians. The band wears authentic replicas of the original Sousa Band uniforms.

Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band have toured extensively in the East, Middle West and the Southeastern United States. The band made their first overseas tour to Japan in August 1996, and toured in China in 2010-11.  In Nov. 1993,the band played their first theatrical engagement with a one week appearance at the Christie Lane Theatre in Branson MO.  They have appeared regularly in every section of the United States. In 2000 they were presented by the Minnesota Orchestra and in May 2002 appeared for an entire week on the Seattle Symphony pops series.The band has performed in 2009 at the WASBE convention in Cincinnati and also in the same year for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.     

In 1986 Mr. Brion and his band  appeared in a PBS TV special The New Sousa Band On Stage at Wolftrap. Excerpts from this show appear from time to time on the Classic Arts Channel.  His recordings with his New Sousa Band include The Original, All-American,SOUSA!  on Delos Records and  the Sousa Legacy  for Bainbridge Records, recorded with the Rochester Philharmonic and the New Sousa Band. He has recorded Percy Grainger-To the Fore!  with the Michigan State Band for Delos Records and the Wind Music of Alan Hovhaness  for  Mace with trumpeter Gerard Schwarz.  Mr. Brion has recently completed recording the complete wind band music of Alan Hovhaness with the Ohio State Band and trombonist Christian Lindberg, The Scottish Academy of Music and Dance Wind Orchestra with trumpeter John Wallace, the Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra (London) and the Central Washington University Wind Ensemble. Orchestral recordings include three volumes of Sousa’s orchestral music as well as CD's of the music of Percy Grainger and Victor Herbert. 

Mr. Brion is currently recording the complete band music of Sousa for Naxos with London's Royal Artillery Band, the Royal Norwegian Navy Band, The Royal Swedish Navy Band, The Central Band of the RAF and the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Twenty one volumes of a projected 23 volume series have been recorded. The series is scheduled to be completed in May 2019.

In addition to leading his New Sousa Band, Mr. Brion maintains an active career as an orchestra conductor. He is actively presenting his popular Sousa revival concerts with orchestras such as the Boston Pops, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Utah, Minnesota and Milwaukee symphonies, his overseas orchestral engagements have included the London Concert Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, and the Gothenburg Symphony.      

Mr. Brion has been a frequent guest conductor of professional bands among which are the Stockholm Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Royal Swedish Naval Band, New York City's Goldman Band, and the Allentown Band.  He has also appeared with most of the major service bands, including the U.S. Marine Band, Army Band, Army Field Band, West Point Band, Coast Guard Band, the U.S. Army Band of Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, etc.   Numerous university and school band appearances have included Florida State, Michigan State, University of Texas, Ohio State, Iowa State and the University of Iowa, plus the National Music Camp at Interlochen.

Keith Brion is a former Director of Bands at Yale University, where he led  the Yale Band in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and in an all-Ives program at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.  Prior to coming to Yale, he was the founder and music director of the North Jersey Wind Symphony and was a longtime band educator and music supervisor in the New Jersey public schools.

He has published over thirty-five editions for band, including the music of Charles Ives, Percy Grainger, John Philip Sousa and D.W. Reeves and is the author of numerous articles. This includes a series of twenty-two Sousa publications in collaboration with Loras Schissel, curator of the Sousa collection at the Library of Congress as well as an extensive current series of New Sousa Band Editions for the C.L.Barnhouse Co. of Oskaloosa IA.

He has just completed a book on “Sousa’s Marches, As He Perfomed Them”, (“The ‘forgotton musical speech of Sousa’s time”) to be published by Meredith Music in Dec. 2018.

Mr. Brion's library and offices are located at Erector Square in New Haven CT and in Cambridge MA.  To contact via e mail, write to "WiillowBlos@aol.com".  The web address for the New Sousa Band is "newsousaband.com"