River City Brass Band Concert

GLSD Choir and Band: An Unforgettable Experience

Alli Himler, Staff Writer

The city of Pittsburgh is very unique and is known for a wide variety of different achievements. Some call it “The Steel City,” with over 300 steel-related businesses, and others know it to be the “City of Bridges,” with over 466 spanning across the three rivers, but there’s much more to a city than industry. Without music, Pittsburgh wouldn’t be the city that it is today, which is why Pittsburgh is the proud home of The River City Brass Band.

The River City Brass was founded in 1981 as a 28 member ensemble, performing locally, nationally, and internationally. Their main goal as an ensemble is to entertain, educate, and engage citizens in the music that they create. Knowing this, the Greater Latrobe band and choirs gratefully accepted the opportunity to perform alongside the amazing professional band. 

Before the night of the concert, several students shared their enthusiasm to be working with a professional ensemble.

Sophomore Amanda Fritz, a percussionist in the band said, “ I’m most excited to see what a professional ensemble will sound like on our stage,” and she later mentioned, “I can’t wait to show them how hard we worked on our own pieces.” 

Autumn Stemmler is also a sophomore, and she plays trumpet in the band and is a member of the concert choir. “I’m excited about performing with another ensemble other than just Latrobe’s choir and bands. It’s a very exciting and a good opportunity for us students,” when asked if she was feeling at all intimidated, her response was simply, “I’m not nervous… I don’t know why.” 

Tensions were running high all week, but the concert was definitely worth the wait. With comedic director Dr. James Gourlay, a mind-blowing band, and a surprise visit from Santa Claus combined with enthusiastic students, the night went down without a hitch, and will hopefully be a memory that all GLSD students will treasure forever.

Many students were very surprised at the sheer talent and great performance that was given by those with the River City Brass. Sophomore Isaac Krom, trombonist, and chamber choir student recalls how the concert went. “I was so excited about the opportunity to meet and perform with such talented people!” Being a combined concert, both the students and River City Brass players were met with the challenge of working with an unfamiliar conductor, but the challenge was accepted openly. “My favorite part was the song “Sleigh Ride,” which we performed with Dr. Gourlay conducting.” Thanks to his experience and astounding abilities, performing alongside Dr. Gourlay felt more natural to the students than expected, which is a good thing, as there were no completely combined rehearsals before the show! 

Once again, both the River City Brass Band and Greater Latrobe students pulled off another successful performance and had a lot of fun while performing alongside one another. A special thanks to the River City Brass Band from the students of the GLSD music department for such an amazing opportunity!