2014 - Prairie Brass Announces New Music Directors.
Following the decision of the band's first Music Director, Dallas Niermeyer to step down from the podium after 16 years, the band began an extensive search process.
President, Clark Niermeyer and Prairie Brass is pleased to announce the appointment of their new Music Staff
Mary Barnes-Gingrich, Music Director
Mary Barnes-Gingrich has been a member of the Prairie Brass Band for six years, the first five as solo tenor horn and currently as conductor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in performance (French horn); for three of her undergraduate years she was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. After graduating she won The Friday Morning Music Club competition in Washington, DC, resulting in a solo performance at the Kennedy Center. While in the Washington, DC area, she was selected as the principal horn with the Northern Virginia Chamber Orchestra.
After returning to the Chicago area, Mary became an active freelance player, performing at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago for shows that included My Fair Lady (Rex Harrison), Camelot (Richard Burton) and How to Succeed in Business (Sammy Davis Jr.). In addition, she played extra horn and Wagner tuba during Chicago Lyric Opera's four-year Wagner “Ring Cycle” conducted by Zubin Mehta. Mary plays as an extra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has participated in the orchestra's tours to 12 countries. She also may be heard on CSO recordings with Maestros Solti, Barenboim and Guilini. She is currently a member of the Ars Viva Symphony and the Lake Forest Symphony. An active chamber musician, she plays French horn with The Edens Brass Trio, The Mirror Quartet and the Chicago Horn Consort. Mary is also an award-winning painter and print maker (MBGingrich.com) and shows her work in two galleries in Wisconsin.
Mary's first experience with a brass band came at a day-long symposium in Durham, England, where she played with the Fishburn Band. That day changed her musical life forever and sparked her undying interest in this art form. Mary's ardor for brass banding was solidified when the Prairie Brass Band afforded her an opportunity to play tenor horn. Mary has soloed twice at the US Open. In 2011 she premiered Dallas Niermeyer's new arrangement of Gershwin's Three Preludes for Tenor Horn and Band, which won the best new arrangement award at the US Open Brass Band Championships.
Peter Held has worked with the Prairie Brass Band over the last two years, starting with collaborative efforts between the band and the school where he teaches, and now as conductor for this last year. He graduated from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music with a degree in Music Education, and has had the opportunity to perform in many diverse settings, from small churches down south to the Symphony Center in Chicago.
For the last three years Peter has been the music director for Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights directing the high school orchestra, middle school band, and beginning band. He also teaches elementary and middle school general music, oversees the other ensembles (choir and string orchestra), and runs the school's private lesson program. He also is an active member in his church's worship orchestra, and he teaches private lessons at a local music school.
The Prairie Brass Band has rehearsed in Peter's rehearsal room at Christian Liberty Academy for the last few years. After making the acquaintance of the band's director, Dallas Niermeyer, he conducted a few pieces with the Prairie Brass in a few concerts and helped to create a joint Christian Liberty and Prairie Brass Christmas concert in 2012. When the director's position opened up, Peter quickly applied and is now co-conducting the band with Mary Gingrich.
2016 PBOY Awarded to Jeanine Woodman
Mary Gingrich, MD, Dallas Niermeyer, MD Emeritus and Clark Niermeyer, President, announce and congratulate Jeanine Woodman for being selected as this year's Prairie Brass person of the year for exemplary attitude, dedication, service and musicianship.
Congratulations to Jeanine from the entire Prairie Brass Band family.
pictured here at the celebration party are Jeanine, Mary Gingrich and Clark Niermeyer
Prairie has a new partner
The Prairie Brass Band of Arlington Heights, IL, USA, announces an exciting new concert agreement with School District 214 Community Education.
The band has agreed to produce two concerts each year at the forest View Education Center Theatre as a part of the rapidly growing and varied schedule of concerts at the Center.
Prairie is the only brass band invited to join the lineup of world-acclaimed artists and performers presenting programs throughout the year. No stranger to the venue, the band has presented concerts there three previous times featuring World's Champion Whistler David Morris from Dobcross, UK.
The band kicks off its new series with a concert on March 27, 2011 featuring famed jazz trumpet artist Bobby Lewis (www.bobbylewis.com) Bobby will be performing with the band on trumpet, flugel horn, cornet, and even singing a chorus or two!
Says band president Clark Niermeyer,"We are thrilled with the opportunity to present entertaining and accessible brass band music to the greater Chicago suburban area for many years to come."
PBB Places 3rd in Honors Division at NABBA 2007; Best Test Piece Performance According to Adjudicator and Test Piece Composer, Rodney Newton (April 14, 2007) - The Prairie Brass Band recently traveled to Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN, to compete in Honors division in the 2007 North American Brass Band Association Championships, held on April 14. The band performed two pieces: "Un Vie de Matelot" by Robert Farnon (band choice) and "The King of Elfland's Daughter" by Rodney Newton (Honors division test piece). Of particular note is the fact that Rodney Newton, the composer of the Honors division test piece, also served as adjudicator for the division and gave Prairie the highest scoring in the division for the performance of his test piece. [Full Results]
The performance featured solos by the following
PBB members: Paul Eakley (First Baritone), Lev Garbar (Soprano Cornet),
John Meling (Principal Euphonium), Jeff Phillips (Solo Tenor Horn), and
Eric Yates (Principal Cornet).