The River Brass Youth Bands (est. 2019) are open to any brass and percussion students who are currently in grades 6-12. For the 2021 season, we will only be offering the HIGH SCHOOL program as we adapt to COVID regulations. We hope to bring back the Middle School band in future seasons.
Due to COVID regulations, we are implementing a $20 registration fee this year to cover the cost of masks, bell covers, and other operating expenses. The band will provide a matched set of masks and bell covers for all students. If you are unable to pay this fee, please let us know - we do not want to make this program inaccessible for any families.
The high school band will be directed by Mr. Eric Obermeyer. He is the instrumental music director at Forest Park High School and has been playing solo euphonium with River Brass since 2019. Mr. Obermeyer directed the middle school youth band last year, and will take the baton for the high school group this year.
We will have nine rehearsals this spring, all on Thursday evenings from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Epworth United Methodist.
Note: We understand conflicts arise, but please try to limit absences to no more than three rehearsals.
Thursday, March 14, 3:00pm at Epworth United Methodist.
Audience will be limited to RSVP only for families of the students. The concert will be live-streamed on Facebook for all to view.
How to join:
Simply fill out the form below - there will not be a formal audition process. The first rehearsal will begin with sectional time to determine the best seating arrangement for the band.
If you would like to withdraw your name from our list after submitting this form, please reach out to us at [email protected] or at 812-774-1250 (Alex).
Please add [email protected] to your address book to ensure delivery of communications.
To connect with the Youth Band on Facebook, join our group "River Brass Youth Band". This page will be used for communications and is open for discussions. Parents, students, and teachers are encouraged to join. Membership in the band is not required to participate in the group's page.
The following protocol will be enforced during all RBYB gatherings. Protocol may be reevaluated in the event of a chance in the current situation.
- Social distancing will be in place. Chairs shall be set up a minimum of 6 feet apart. Capacity of the rehearsal hall is 40 people.
- Masks must be worn when not playing. Slotted masks are highly encouraged while playing.
- Bell covers shall be used on all brass instruments.
- Bring a spit towel to avoid dumping on the floor.
- Anybody who has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID is expected to stay home. If you are currently in quarantine at your school, you are not permitted to attend rehearsals.
Due to our cap on enrollment, should you decide to withdraw your registration, PLEASE let us know so we can ensure another student can play in your place.
A brass band has a very unique instrumentation - here's a little information about that. Note that all instruments will need to be provided by the student or their school. Note that the middle school band may use a simplified arrangement, occasionally omitting parts for soprano cornet, repiano cornet, solo horn, or bass trombone.
CORNETS (or trumpets)
The largest section of the band, the cornet section has the most unique parts. Knowing that the US generally uses trumpets in their bands, the Youth Band will allow them as a substitution if a cornet is unavailable.
Eb Soprano Cornet - At the top of the cornets, we have one Eb Soprano cornet. We know there will not be any students out there with experience on this horn - but this seat will be assigned to a trumpet player who has demonstrated skill in playing in the upper registers. It is not a "lead trumpet" type of voice - while playing high, the soprano must maintain control of tone - icing on the cake. A soprano cornet will be provided by the band for use on this part.
Solo Cornets - The front row of the cornet section, traditionally four players. The first chair "principal cornet" will be featured often in solos. As a group, these four are the leaders of the cornet section. The part may be in unison or in 4-way splits.
Repiano Cornet - The repiano cornet is the same physical instrument as all of the other Bb cornets. But it plays an independent part from the rest of the section, often doubling the flugelhorn, or soprano, or weaving in and out of the other cornet parts. Consider it the "utility" cornet. This part is requires technical proficiency and good range.
2nd Cornet - Covered by two (or more) players, the 2nd cornets play the middle voice of the cornet section.
3rd Cornet - Covered by two (or more) players, the 3rd cornets play the lowest voice of the cornet section.
Flugelhorn - One player covers flugelhorn. Frequently featured, the flugelhorn part requires a player with excellent tone and proficiency.
Known as the alto horn in the US and as the tenor horn in the UK, this is an instrument unique to brass banding - it replaces the F horn that is used in concert band and orchestral music. The band will supply alto horns for the students - high school will be expected to use these horns, but middle school will be given the option to either use them or their own F horns. The alto horn looks like a smaller baritone horn, pitched in Eb. It is most comparable to a mellophone in terms of range and playability. The horn section is made up of 3 musicians, though parts may be doubled if needed.
Solo Horn - The highest voice and leader of the horn section. The student who demonstrates the best high range and technical ability will be seated as solo horn. Solo horn is occasionally a featured voice, but most often needs to blend with the band.
1st Horn - The middle voice of the horn section.
2nd Horn - The lowest voice of the horn section. Considered to be one of the easier parts in the band.
Baritones and Euphoniums
Many students do not realize the distinction between the two instruments as the baritone found in American schools is more of a hybrid between the two. A true baritone has a narrower bore and brighter sound than a euphonium. The band will supply baritone players with instruments, but euphonium players will need to bring their own horn. All baritone and euphonium parts are traditionally written in treble clef (Bb transposition), but transcribed bass clef parts will be provided.
1st Baritone - The higher of the two baritone parts. Occasionally doubles the solo cornets down an octave. Also acts as an extension of the horn section.
2nd Baritone - The lower of the two baritone parts. Considered to be one of the easier parts in the band.
Euphonium - Covered by two players, though generally written as a single part with occasional splits. In higher level music, the 1st chair euphonium is considered to the be hardest part in the band and is frequently featured as a solo voice, thanks to its unique tone quality and range.
There are three trombone parts in the band.
1st Trombone - The highest trombone voice. Music is written in treble clef (Bb transposition), though bass clef transcriptions will be made available.
2nd Trombone - The middle trombone voice. Music is written in treble clef (Bb transposition), though bass clef transcriptions will be made available.
Bass Trombone - The lowest trombone voice. This is the only part in the band that is traditionally written in bass clef.
In a brass band, there are generally four tubas to give a solid foundation. Two are Bb tubas (which is the most common type in the US) and two are Eb tubas. All parts are traditionally written in treble clef (transposed in Bb or Eb). For the purposes of the youth band, bass clef parts will be made available and may be played on any key of tuba available to the student.
Eb tubas - Two Eb tubas play one part with occasional splits. The Eb tubas are the higher voice in the tuba section. Occasional opportunities exist to be a featured solo voice.
Bb tubas - Two Bb tubas play one part with occasional splits. The Bb tubas are the lowest voice in the tuba section, and with the bass trombone, the lowest voice in the band.
Just like in concert band, anything in the percussion section is fair game. There is generally a dedicated timpani part and two other parts that may include snare, mallets, aux, or anything else.