It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! With that catchy phrase, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts (ARCA) presented the internationally acclaimed River City Brass – America’s favorite Brass Band – at its first concert in Emlenton at the Crawford Center on Friday, June 20 at 8:00 PM.
ABOUT RIVER CITY BRASS BAND: Founded in 1981 by the late Robert Bernat, (conductor and music director 1981‐1994) the RCBB was the first professional concert band to be established in the United States in over 25 years. Today, the River City Brass Band performs a 56‐concert series in Western Pennsylvania. In addition, the 28‐piece ensemble tours extensively throughout the United States with more than 60 performances each year as part of community concert series, major symphony pops series, and arts festivals. For thirty years the RCB has delighted audiences in the Pittsburgh region, nationally and internationally. Their most recent international tour took them to Italy in May of 2013.
Mr. Gourlay, a native of Scotland, began his career at the age of 18 as the Principal Tubist of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera. James also conducted Great Britain’s Grimethorpe Colliery Band, leading one of the most internationally lauded and prominent brass ensembles in the world on a tour throughout the British Isles, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
From California to New York (as well as everywhere in between), River City Brass Band has delighted audiences with its signature style. Every performance features both superb soloists and some lighthearted fun! Often called the “Boston Pops ‐‐ In Brass,” the band’s extensive repertoire includes American tunes, Big Band swing and jazz, music from Broadway and Hollywood, classical and contemporary masterworks, and ‐‐ of course ‐‐ traditional marches.
In its ongoing commitment to education, RCB proudly has maintained an acclaimed youth band and in 2012 inaugurated a ‘Saturday Music’ program for students in grades 5 to 12, partnering with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. This program has been designed to explore and grow the musical interest and abilities of Pittsburgh’s public school students.