“This is the first time we have done this kind of ‘audience’ participation event, inviting folks to bring their instruments and join the band on a few tunes,” said Holz, who is a music professor at Asbury University and a noted author and scholar on brass band music. “So this is indeed a premiere event.”
Holz said he and others with the band came up with the idea for the participatory concert as way to give a little jolt of excitement to the festival as it winds down on Sunday afternoon.
“We wanted to add something to the later Sunday afternoon at the festival to stir interest when, after a long but happy three and a half days, enthusiasm can be on the wane,” he said. “We hope a lively program which delivers what most people like in band music — marches — and a chance for some to play with us — was worth a trial run.”
Holz said the word has gotten out about the participatory concert.
“So far I am getting some e-mail requests for music in advance, yet at this point we have no idea how many will show up,” he said. “But I am not all that concerned, other than if a huge number come.”
He said he is planning to have sheet music for up to 100 additional players.
“Now wouldn’t it be keen to have 100 people join us on stage to perform Sousa,” he said. “We won’t exactly be ‘The Music Man’ with 76 trombones, but we are on are way.”
The 50-minute concert will contain a wide array of marches, in addition to those classics of Sousa’s, Holz said. Other march composers whose music will be played include Edwin Franko Goldman and Karl King, he said.
“Among the favorites we will perform are ‘Semper Fidelis,’ ‘Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,’ ‘Chimes of Liberty,’ ‘Sabre and Spurs,’ and ‘The Huntress,’” he said.
Selections for the grand finale will include “King Cotton,” “The Thunderer,” and “The Washington Post March,” Holz said.
In its four previous appearances at the festival, the Lexington Brass Band has performed concerts, accompanied soloists, such as the famous Jens Lindemann, performed at the History Conference, and sometimes filled in at the last minute when a group had to cancel, he said.
The Lexington Brass Band, now in its 18th season, not only performs at an annual concert series but also has been featured at a variety of major music and brass festivals, including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, and the Gala Concert of the North American Brass Band Association.
In 2000, the band took a tour of England, and was featured as the guest band at the All England Brass Band Championships.
Members of the band are drawn from the brass faculty of area universities, school music educators, and wide range of other professions.