The Brazil Concert Band will begin its 147th year of "concerts under the stars" on June 6 at 8 p.m. at the Forest Park Band Shell, or Pavilion if rain.
The opener will salute "D-Day Plus 60 Years" in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the historic invasion of Normandy, France, by the Allies June 6th, 1944. Vanita Moore of the Moore Funeral Home will read about D-Day and will be guest narrator for the program.
Brazil Mayor Tom Arthur will welcome the audience to the BCB series of free public performances in Forest Park. The Brazil City Park Board sponsors the concerts.
The BCB summer series of "concerts under the stars" is every Sunday evening, including the 4th of July, through August 29.
Under the direction of Matthew S. Huber, the 80 member community band is one of the oldest in the nation with continuous operations. This is Huber's 23rd season as conductor. He joined the BCB in 1968 as a trombonist. He is also leader of the Jackson Township Community Band.
The Brazil Concert Band traces its long history to 1858 and during that year the bandsmen were hired to perform their first roadtrip to one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in Illinois.
During the Civil War, the bandsmen enlisted together. Some became military musicians while others became infantry troops. All survived.
In 1895, there was a slight name change from Brazil Cornet Band to Brazil Concert Band which now included woodwind instruments.
The band's long stint at Forest Park began in 1920 with the creation of Forest Park. The Pavilion was its earlier home, along with concerts above the concession stand, and the Band Shell was built for the BCB in 1937 through local donations and WPA labor.
Women joined the Brazil Concert Band in World War II when many of the men served in the Armed Forces Women became a permanent fixture during the Korean War.
In 1994, the Bandshell was expanded and renovated to accomodate a much larger BCB thanks to the donations of citizens, the Parks Association and the Park Board.
In recent years the Brazil Concert Band has traveled the nation with concerts in Washington, DC (1976 and 1998), Disney's Epcot Center (2000) and New Orleans (2002) where the band performed in the National D-Day Museum.
This June, the Brazil Concert Band will perform on Ellis Island in New York City. The band will also see the musical "Chicago" and take an evening dinner cruise along the Hudson River.
The Brazil Concert Band is made up of people of all professions. All possess a high degree of musical skill considering the band's challenging library and busy schedule of 13 Sunday night concerts, the New York City trip, the July 6th concert at DePauw University, and its Fall concert Nov. 21 at the Scottish Rite.
Adult musicians and talented high school students are invited to join the traditions and fun on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Northview High School band room. After the 18th, all practices will take place at the park.
Self ownership of an instrument is required and a commitment to the band's schedule. Contact Director Huber at:
MMJJHUBER@aol.com or 812-448-3420 for further information.
See the BCB's website at brazilconcertband.org for photos and stories about this musical ensemble.