The Prairie Brass Band
Founded in 1997 under the direction of Dallas Niermeyer, the Prairie Brass Band is a performing arts organization which aspires to the highest musical standards and is dedicated to the growth of the brass band movement in the Chicago area and throughout North America. PBB's 35 volunteer members travel from all over Chicago and its suburbs to attend rehearsals and performances. PBB performs about 15 concerts per year in the Chicago area. In addition, PBB competes in the U.S. Open Brass Band Championships held the first weekend of November in St. Charles, Il.
Directed by Dallas Niermeyer
Since its formation, the conductor of the Prairie Brass Band has been Dallas Niermeyer, a nationally recognized music adjudicator and recently-retired director of bands at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Under his direction PBB has won two NABBA titles, including one in the Challenge Section in 1998, PBB's first year of competition - an outstanding feat for a new band! Since then, PBB has competed in the Honors Section (the next highest section) and has shown improvement each year, including another victory at the 2002 competition, which was held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Prairie Brass Band uses traditional British brass band instrumentation: cornets instead of trumpets, tenor horns instead of french horns, both euphoniums and baritones, and E-flat and B-flat tubas, as well as percussion. The music for every instrument in the band is written in treble clef, except for the bass trombone (which is a story in itself). Since the band competes in a national contest every year, there is a great incentive to continually improve. Most players, however, are attracted to the band simply because the music is challenging, widely varied, and fun to play. Unlike an orchestra or wind band, brass bands have no string or reed instruments and the percussion section is smaller, which increases the musical demand on the musicians to fill all the voices of the orchestra. In a brass band all of the musicians are more active and get to play throughout the pieces, making greater use of their skills.
The summer of 2002 saw the formation of the Prairie Brass Ensemble (also known as "PBB Lite" for short) and Jazz on the Prairie to meet the high demand for quality musical groups in the Chicagoland area, and to further explore the seemingly bottomless library of available music for smaller 5- to 10-piece groups. Both groups have proven to be popular with audiences since their inaugural performances in the fall of 2002.
The Prairie Brass Band in Arlington Heights
Since 1999, the Prairie Brass Band has made its official home in Arlington Heights, Illinois - a northwest suburb of Chicago. In honor of the Prairie Brass Band's move, May 21, 1999 was declared Prairie Brass Band Day in Arlington Heights.
Annual Concert Series
The Prairie Brass Band's annual concert series in Arlington Heights includes three indoor concerts at Forest View Educational Center: an Autumn/Holiday concert in November or December; a Spring concert in March, and a Summer concert in June, often in a lighter "pops" style.
The Prairie Brass Band rehearses every Thursday night from 7:30 to 9:30 in the Band room at The Christian Liberty Academy, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Hts, IL 60004-5495.
Prairie Brass Band is a member of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and has several members who live and/or work in Arlington Heights. Contact Us to inquire about becoming a member!
The Prairie Brass Band has a long-standing and enjoyable relationship with the Arlington Heights community.
For more information about brass bands in general, please click here.