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Brazil Concert Band receives national award from Sousa Foundation

Monday, February 20, 2006

File photo

Matthew Huber addresses the crowd during the Veterans Day program, Nov. 11, 2002, at the Clay County Courthouse. The Brazil Concert Band plays for the annual event as well as on Sunday nights during the summer at Forest Park and on other occasions.

Few would question the tremendous contribution the Brazil Concert Band makes to the life of this city.

While many towns relegate summer concerts to a treasured past, Brazil continues to have such an event each Sunday night. Under the direction of Matthew Huber, the band works hard in practice and rehearsals to give the community a high quality form of entertainment.

Word has been received by Huber that the Brazil Concert Band has won the prestigious Sudler Historic Silver Scroll, a national award recognizing concert adult bands in existence for 100 years or longer.

"The award is named for Louis and Virginia Sudler, benefactors to bands, from Chicago," Huber wrote to The Brazil Times. "They are now both deceased.

"The award consists of a handsome silver scroll mounted on a large walnut plaque for the band, a miniature plaque for the director and a certificate for each of the members of your present band," wrote Dr. Al G. Wright, chairman of the board, the John Philip Sousa Foundation, in a letter to Huber dated Feb. 15. Wright is former director of bands at Purdue University. "Nominations are received each year from the entire United States and Canada. The 'History of the Brazil Band' book which you prepared for the evaluation is one of the most complete and attractive that I have received."

The award application also included a copy of the CD recording, "Jewell of the Wabash."

The award will be presented to Huber and the orchestra by Sousa Foundation representatives at 7:30 p.m., June 11 at Forest Park.

Special guest conductors for the event will be Robert P. Hills Jr., composer and conductor, of Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Charles Conrad, music historian, author and conductor of the Indiana Symphonic Winds of Indianapolis, Dr. Charles DCamp, director emeritus from St. Ambrose University in Iowa, Edward L. Ballenger, retired school band director and worldwide traveling musician, Jeffersonville, Ind. and Dr. John Boyd, Director of Bands at Indiana State University.

"All five guests will conduct their favorite Sousa marches," Huber wrote The Brazil Times. "Col. John R. Bourgeois, retired director of The President's Own, the United States Marine Band, is president and CEO of the Sousa Foundation. He is director of the Foundation's Sousa National High School Honor Band

"The Sousa Foundation's board of directors is a who's who of America's most outstanding band directors including Keith Brion, leader of the New Sousa Band; Ray Cramer, former director of the Indiana University Bands; Col. Lowell Graham, former director of the Air Force Band; Loris Schissel, director of the Virginia Grand Military Band; and John Philip Sousa IV, great-grandson of the March King, to name just a few."

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