About

The Las Vegas Brass Band celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2013, but in the grand tradition of British brass bands, the band is barely an infant.

 

In the western US, though, its success is helping lead the way in expanding this rich form of musical expression. In some measure the band owes its existence to the shrinking job market for “live” musicians in the lounges and showrooms of the Entertainment Capital of the World. Many of the its musicians chose to stay in Las Vegas and change careers rather than uproot families and move to where there were even less job opportunities of any kind. One such musician was London born Pete Cooper. After a successful switch to Realtor, Pete began to look for new ways to use his musical talents. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Community College of Southern Nevada both had community concert bands and Pete has been a member of both. As a brass player though, Pete was looking for a sound that was very hard to find in the American Southwest and nonexistent in Nevada. That sound was from youthful memories of playing with the brass bands of the Salvation Army Chalk Farm, Crystal Palace, and many others back in his London home.

In 1993 Pete opened his wallet to buy enough tunes to start up a British style brass band and opened his phone book to find the brass musicians to fill the seats. Some seats were easier to fill than others. There was still enough jazz in Las Vegas to make flugel horns common, but the average American musician had forgotten what a cornet is, thought baritones and euphoniums were the same instrument, and drew a complete blank when confronted by a tenor horn. Pete’s salesmanship prevailed, however, and soon a band of trumpets, French horns, trombones, four euphoniums, and a full complement of tubas-traditional pitches notwithstanding-began rehearsal. (Well, you’ve got to start somewhere!)

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The transition to traditional instrumentation began quickly with the switch to cornets, followed by the tenor horns and an English baritone. Members of the band are talented professional and amateur musicians from all walks of life and a wide age range. Some of the current members were not yet born when Pete first pulled the band together! We meet for rehearsal are once a week during the season. Rehearsals are held most Thursdays at 7p.m. at the Green Valley United Methodist Church in Henderson. If you are a brass bander passing through town who wishes to sit in, contact us for times and directions.

The band’s concert season begins in the fall and concludes with Independence Day in July. The band has played concerts in all of Las Vegas’ public library auditoriums; shared concerts with bands of the local community college, university, and public schools; and has been featured by Clark County and several other community groups. Las Vegas Brass Band is also proud to have hosted the first North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) event in the Western United States in October of 1999.

To learn more about us, please feel free to read through the information provided throughout this website, and, of course, join us for a performance!