Reading Buccaneers Launch Brass Band

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The world champion Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps announced today the formation of the third Reading Buccaneers performing ensemble: the Reading Buccaneers Brass Band – or “RB3” as it is affectionately called by its members.

RB3 is a traditional British-style Brass Band, and is yet another unique instrumental ensemble to dot the Greater Reading arts landscape. Music fans in the area already enjoy the Reading Symphony Orchestra, the Reading Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Ringgold Band and, of course, the Reading Buccaneers. The ensemble was formed to offer musicians a unique performance opportunity and to diversify the Buccaneers organization’s presence in the local arts community in a way that complements the flagship competition corps.

“We’re very excited about the launch of RB3,” said Buccaneers Corps Director James C. Gruber. “The Buccaneers organization is entering its 50th year, and we’re an established part of the local arts community. Over the years we’ve received many offers to perform at local events, business functions and the like that we simply couldn’t accept because the schedule of the drum corps didn’t permit it. The competing corps is strictly a weekend activity, and one that takes us away from Reading much of the time. So RB3 is an opportunity to increase our visibility in the Reading area while filling a unique niche in instrumental music.” The ensemble is available to perform at functions of all kinds.

RB3 is under the direction of Reading area music educator Steven Holgate, who also serves as a member of the competing corps’ brass staff. “I’m excited to jump into this project. It should be a great opportunity for local musicians – Buccaneers and others who wish to be part of the organization but who otherwise cannot join the drum corps – to make beautiful music and enjoy the fellowship that goes with it. Our goal is to present music of the highest caliber to the community.”

At full capacity, the Brass Band’s instrumentation will consist of 30 musicians, comprised of: 1 Eb soprano cornet, 9 Bb cornets, 1-2 Bb flugelhorns, 4 Eb tenor horns, 2 Bb baritones, 2 Bb euphoniums, 2 tenor trombones, 1 bass trombone, 2 Eb tubas, 2 Bb tubas and 3 percussionists. Most instrument parts will be treble clef parts. RB3 made its first appearance at the Reading Buccaneers’ Second Annual Spring Preview, held on May 13, 2006. The ensemble was little over one week old, and performed one piece.

The band’s first concert, a “Summer Picnic with the Reading Buccaneers Brass Band,” will take place on Sunday, September 17, 2006, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., at the Bynden Wood outdoor concert stage at the South Mountain YMCA, in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. Admission is free, and guests are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic meals with them to the concert. The repertoire will feature works by Wolfgang Mozart, Malcolm Arnold, Edward Gregson and John Philip Sousa.

For directions to the concert, visit

In addition to the Buccaneers competing corps and RB3, the Buccaneers boast an active alumni association that fields the Reading Buccaneers Alumni corps. This ensemble appears locally at parades and concerts.

Founded in 1957, the Reading Buccaneers are a non-profit, education-oriented musical organization. The Buccaneers are a charter member of Drum Corps Associates and won the first-ever DCA world championships in 1965. Additional titles followed in 1968, 1979, 1980, 2005 and 2006. In 2006-2007, the Buccaneers will celebrate its 50th anniversary. All Buccaneers alumni are encouraged to visit the corps’ web site to register to receive anniversary information.

On Sunday, November, 26, 2006, the Buccaneers will host Membership Day 2007, at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA. All persons interested in learning more about the Reading Buccaneers and being a part of the 2007 50th Anniversary corps, the Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps and the Reading Buccaneers Brass Band are invited to attend. Please visit the corps’ web site for more information.

The Buccaneers are sponsored in part by Behler-Hein American Legion Post 637, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and Roy A. Master American Legion Post 217, Topton, Pennsylvania

For more information, visit

Posted by on Friday, September 8th, 2006. Filed under DCA News.