The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra’s Billtown Brass Band will be presenting concerts at 7:00 PM, Saturday, August 20 at the Central Oak Heights pavilion, Milton and 7:00 PM, Sunday, August 21, in the Brandon Park Dr. Ken Cooper bands shell, Williamsport. The programs will follow a traditional park concert model presenting an eclectic collection of great brass music with solos by band members and sections.
Brasstastic! is the program’s theme and includes repertoire that will delight all members of the audience. Anticipated selections include everything from the rock classic by Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, through the powerful sounds of Pines of the Apian Way by Respighi. Other program highlights will include marches, big band jazz, show tunes and featured soloists.
The program will conclude with patriotic favorites including an Armed Forces Salute and John Philip Sousa’s Star and Stripes Forever.
The Williamsport Symphony’s Billtown Brass was formed in 2000 to meet the need for a smaller and more “portable” ensemble within the WSO umbrella. The 28 member ensemble is organized in the style of the traditional British brass band featuring a full range of brass instruments (cornet, flugelhorn, Eb horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone, bass trombone, Eb and Bb tuba) and 3 very busy percussionists. The ensembles music director and founder is Rick Coulter.
Billtown Brass music director Rick Coulter was bitten by the brass band bug through a Salvation Army program in high school. He went on to study trumpet with Anthony Pasquarelli and music education at Carnegie Mellon University where among other things he played in the brass band directed by world renown British tubist and composer Philip Catelinet. An annual event was proof-playing the compositions Catelinet wrote for the brass band contests in Great Britain. A music educator and curriculum administrator for 38 years, under his leadership the Williamsport music education program developed a national reputation for excellence including being selected as one of the 100 Best Communities for Music Education in America. He is active as a teacher and lecturer on arts education, administration and advocacy, performs as a player and conductor and tries to maintain balance in his life through cooking, gardening, hiking and mountain climbing.
The programs are free to the public and made possible through the generous support of the WSO Board, the First Community Foundation, the Woodcock Foundation and Morgan Stanley.