OU Brass Band wins top honors at Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships
The Oakland University Brass Band recently won the University Section of the 2021 Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships, which were held March 12-28.
The championship competition consisted of more than 100 bands from around the world, which were broken up into five Adult Sections, a Youth Section, and a University Section. The OUBB was the only American band included in the University Section, and competed 10 other groups from the United Kingdom.
Each band was required to submit a 10-minute music video, which was judged on the quality of performance, program content and presentation.
“I started planning the program this past summer and determined that we wanted to honor the frontline heroes that showed so much courage throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Kenneth Kroesche, professor of music and director of the OU Brass Band. “With the start of classes in September, we rehearsed outdoors and socially distanced. By mid-October, we began recording the audio portion of the project, which continue up to Thanksgiving.
“In January and February, we finished the audio and video recordings. Throughout the project we were editing the audio recordings and over the course of about two weeks at the beginning of March the final video was completed.”
Reviews for the band’s performance included “simply phenomenal” from It’s Not a Trumpet, a brass band blog, and British Bandsman, a leading magazine that covered brass bands around the world, raved that “Oakland University Brass Band was a highlight of the entire competition so far, not just the University Section … Needless to say, the incredible talent, coupled with the emotional theme, ensured there was mascara running down my face throughout.”
Philip Harper, presenter and conductor of the Cory Band, also commented that, “The British sound is something which our bands are renowned for the world over, but in many way, the American Band (Oakland University) was the most British we have had so far.”
You can watch their performance video, titled “Heroes” on the Oakland University Brass Band YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCREWCfqB7iehAbJh_V6PxNg.
“This project has been in the making for over six months and I am not only elated over having won the competition, I’m also enormously proud of the students and final product we have created,” Kroesche said.
In addition to winning the University Section, the OUBB’s cornet section — taught by Assistant Professor Jennifer Oliverio — also won the Best Cornet Section Award with British Bandsman magazine praising Principal Cornet Alexis Dill’s performance: “There were so many standout players in this performance, but (Dill) was a real treat to listen to. Her musicality was spellbinding and her sound belongs alongside the best cornet players in the world. I was completely blown away.”
To follow the Oakland University Brass Band on social media, visit https://www.facebook.com/OUBrassBand.