Amanda Stout has only been playing with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band (EIBB) for two years but getting to play in her hometown of Washington is sure to be one of her favorite performances to date. Stout, along with the rest of the band, will be visiting Washington on Sunday, March 17 for a 2:30 p.m. performance at the Washington Area Performing Arts and Events Center.
“It does mean a little more to me that we’re going back to Washington because this is where I grew up going to community concerts every weekend and now I am one of those people being part of one of those concerts,” she said.
Stout said the volunteer-based band is comprised of professional musicians who meet once a week for a rehearsal in Solon. All members live in the Eastern Iowa area and commute in for the rehearsals.
“We don’t really take breaks,” she said. According to their website, this is true as the EIBB is the only year-round brass band in the state of Iowa.
Bob Driggs, member and Board President of the EIBB, said this is only one thing that makes the 35-piece band special.
“Not only do we make good music but we’ve become good friends over the years,” he said, reflecting back on his 18 years playing with the group. “We enjoy each others company.”
Driggs said what sets the group apart is that they are a traditional British style brass band, composed entirely of brass instruments and percussion. The band will begin the concert with traditional music before breaking off into some contemporary pieces during the second half, playing Bohemian Rhapsody, Birdland and other familiar jazz pieces.
Stout said getting the opportunity to see a brass band perform is a rare experience and one she is looking forward to bringing to Washington.
“I think that it’s something unique and new that a lot of people in the area have never seen or possibly ever heard of,” she said. “Washington being small, it doesn’t get as many big name groups coming to town so being able to provide this unique ensemble experience, we want to encourage community members to come out and learn what we are.”
Tickets for the Eastern Iowa Brass Band performance at the Washington Area Performing Arts and Events Center on Sunday, March 17, at 2:30 p.m., can be purchased online at washingtonauditorium.org, at the Washington Chamber of Commerce or at the door the day of the performance.