The Brazil Concert Band dates back to 1858, making it the oldest continuous concert band in Indiana. Earlier known as the “Brazil Cornet Band”, the band played for the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and many members served together as musicians during the Civil War. More recently, the BCB welcomed home Clay County veterans of Desert Storm.
The BCB serves as a goodwill ambassador for Clay County by performing special concerts in neighboring cities such as Worthington, Terre Haute, and Greencastle. The band has also performed in Washington, D.C., Disney World, New Orleans, and New York..
The band has received special national commendations from the U.S. Marine Band and Vice President Dan Quayle, and the Indiana General Assembly issued a resolution in its honor due to the efforts of Rep. Susan Crosby. Director Matt Huber received a Clay County Focus Award for his work with the band, and two musical pieces have been written for the band in recent years. Composer Steven Kent Goodman wrote the march “The Pride of Brazil” and Putnam County composer Malinda Zenor wrote "The Forest Park Brigade", both in honor of the Brazil Concert Band. In 2006, the band was presented with the Sudler Silver Scroll Historic Community Band Award by the prestigious John Philip Sousa Foundation.
The Music Director is Matt Huber, who has led the BCB since 1982 and has been a member since 1968. Theme concerts are often featured, including a circus concert complete with ringmaster, the traditional Oktoberfest concert, and a Sousa Band concert with director Matt Huber appearing as Lt. Commander John Philip Sousa.
Each season, the BCB performs a series of 13 Sunday night concerts drawing crowds of up to 2500 fans at its home, the Forest Park Bandshell, built for the BCB in 1937. The Bandshell was remodeled and enlarged in 1994 through donations by the patrons, the Clay Community Parks Association, and the Brazil Park Board.
The BCB boasts a music library of over 1,500 selections, of which about 200 are played each season. New band literature has been donated and purchased thanks to the Zorah Shrine, Fred Jewell, Jr., and friends of the BCB.
The music folder melts away the age barrier. People of all walks of life belong to the BCB, encompassing an entire community of professions. Teachers, preachers, bankers, construction workers, business people, military, medical, lawyers, retired people, high school and college students all grace the stage. Membership is about 50-50 men and women. Essential skills include sight-reading abilities and commitment to the Tuesday evening rehearsals and Sunday 8:00 p.m. concerts. Self-ownership of an instrument is required.
Among the goals of the Brazil Concert Band are to preserve and perform the works of John Philip Sousa, Fred Jewell, Karl King and Henry Fillmore. It is the mission of the BCB to continue this American tradition as set by Sousa and others. Another goal is to provide a musical outlet for the adult musician, both amateur and professional. Equally important is to serve city, county, state and nation through the sound of music. We perform every Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m., rain or shine, in Forest Park on the south side of Brazil, Indiana. During rain, the band plays in the Forest Park Pavilion.
This year’s schedule includes the series of 13 Sunday night concerts from June 1 through August 24, 2014, plus additional concerts in surrounding communities.
If you wish to join, contact Director Matt Huber at 812-448-3420.