THE ULTIMATE GOAL - Full Regionals coverage from Bedworth, Perth and Torquay

Issue 5989

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN BRASS BANDS? How do brass bands ensure they have a future?

THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE - David Read discusses the pieces that have made the most impact on him

Celebration time in Ohio

Tuesday 18 October, 2016

This past weekend American brass band legend Dr. Paul Droste turned 80-years old. Paul was the conductor and founder of the Brass Band of Columbus (BBC), which won nine North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) Championships under his leadership. He was the President of NABBA and severed on its board for many years. Under Dr. Droste, the BBC traveled to Birmingham in 2000 to perform as part of the World of Brass Concert.

Dr. Droste had another Championship section victory with the Ohio Collegiate Brass in 1992, which would later become the Central Ohio Brass Band (COBB) and has won the 1st Section six times. COBB also competed at Butlins in 2011.

 

Dr. Droste also brought Ohio Brass Band (a scratch band at the time) over to the UK in 2008 to represent the town of Bowburn at the Durham Miners Gala. Ohio Brass Band eventually ended up competing in the US Open Brass Band Championships that year, winning Most Entertaining Band, Best Percussion and Best Cornet.

Since that debut, the band joined the Dublin Community Bands and became the Dublin Silver Band. It has won Most Entertaining Band for six out of the past eight years at the US Open as well as other prizes (best cornet twice, best percussion twice, best new composition/arrangement twice and best march). Dublin Silver Band will also be competing at Brass in Concert at Sage Gateshead this November.

That said, for those not in the UK, he is best known for directing the Ohio State University Marching Band (OSUMB) from 1970-1983. The OSUMB is the only collegiate marching band with no woodwinds (it was modeled after the traditional British brass band). Many have now seen videos of OSUMB on YouTube performing a video game show or the tribute to Michael Jackson.

For his 80th birthday, Paul’s daughter, Diana, took him to the Cleveland Indians’ play-off game on Friday night. Paul was recognised on the scoreboard during the middle of the eighth inning!

This past Sunday, a surprise party was held for him. The Brass Band of Columbus opened the celebration with a brief concert. Tony Zilincik (Eb bass in BBC) had written a fanfare entitled Circle of Friendship. Diana Herak, his daughter, premièred a new baritone solo written by Peter Meechan, entitled, pLat, and then the BBC got to Paul’s favorite composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. They first performed the 49th Parallel wih Douglas Droste (Paul’s son and professor at Ball State University) conducting, and then the Variations for Brass Band. Brian Stevens (MD of the BBC) then gave Paul the option of listening to the final piece (King Cotton) or conducting and Paul took the opportunity to lead them one more time. After the 30-minute concert, the audience was invited to a reception with music provided by the TBDBITL Alumni Band (past members of OSUMB).

Needless to say, it was a great weekend, celebrating a great man!