Capital Brass! 2008: From Mini-Corps To Muscle Corps

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The 2007 CB! Mini-corps was graced with 28 brass players and 6 percussionists (plus a handful of additional brass for the Mardi Gras Ensemble), who performed in 22 events – most often performing with 16-19 brass, but with as many as 24. And, an additional 28 performers who joined us for the Alumni All-stars.

CB! performed, in 06-07, as a competitive mini-corps, brass ensemble, strolling parade band and as a parade corps. Success in performing in major events was joined by competitive success – as the Mini-corps took a strong 8th place at the DCA I&E Championships.

Plans for 2008 call for growing the Mini-corps into a larger group of 40-50 performers that can recreate the presence that the original Capitol Brass had in local and regional parades and exhibitions – to once again bring a strong, impactful, large and LOUD drum corps representative to the Capital District.

Going forward, the little experiment will branch off into a few separate projects:

Capital Brass Ensemble: the CB! small group, just pulled together in August, will break off as a professional ensemble, with as-needed rehearsals, to perform in concerts, festivals and corporate events. Performing with 10 brass, 1-3 percussion, and corps-style instrumentation, it will be manned by music educators and exceptional players from the mini-corps. This hot little group will be aiming for a Brass-O-Mania! level of music book and performance quality. It will be the vehicle to bring a drum corps ensemble into the local, mainstream music scene, provide performance opportunities for exceptional players, and promote our brand name. An alternate/sub list is already being compiled

Mardi Gras Ensemble: this group proved not only handy this summer, but surprisingly easy to put together as a “pick-up” band. For 2008, it will morph into a New Orleans-style, pro brass band; to do parades with 10-12 brass and 3 percussion, using mostly players from BOM! and CB! NO, it won’t be a drum corps. So, `nuff said about THAT.

Alumni All-Stars: Yes, this project DID come off – with barely any time to work on it, considering it debuted right after the push for DCA/Rochester. Everyone had a great time, and it DID look and sound like an Alumni Corps – with 50 members joining us for Uncle Sam Day. CB! will continue to collaborate with 20th Century Limited on this project. Look for more appearances in 2008, with a few chances for area alumni to come out and play with the corps for a day.

CB! Mini-corps: This is still the principal CB! project. The corps made significant strides in their first year, and were pretty successful performing with 16-24 brass. Plans are to add a small battery section and a guard for 2008; and to expand the full-time membership to 30 brass – 12/6/9/3 – plus a few additional out-of town and part-time players.

The needed brass equipment is already on hand, with a late-model set of DEG low brass and King mellophones. The new battery section will start with 5 percussionists; with the possibility of future expansion. The percussion section will perform with both the Mini-corps and brass ensemble. During the winter, we will also explore interest in a guard to perform in parades with the Mini-corps and Alumni All-Stars

The plan is to continue the “big band” approach to rehearsing and music style, including an emphasis on the personal responsibility and individual development of our players. It will continue to be produced by the BOM! team. Although a diverse book will be used, a competitive “mini-corps show” will be developed, with the drum corps audience specifically in mind.

The mini-corps will rehearse on Wednesday nights, 6:30-9:00, in the Albany area, beginning October 17th. A limited number of brass and percussion positions are open to adults with some formal music training and a reasonable amount of prior performing experience. Exceptions may be made for qualified adolescent players who are related to participating adult members.

The corps intends to perform mostly in local events, but also the occasional DCI or DCA appearance and a few I&E competitions.

The mission of the corps is to provide a unique, exciting and rewarding music experience, with the aim of a net, cost-free membership and a reasonable time commitment.

Contact with the corps can be made through the CB! Website:

Posted by on Monday, October 8th, 2007. Filed under DCA News.