Legends of Brass with the Humboldt Bay Brass Band - Humboldt State Now

Legends of Brass with the Humboldt Bay Brass Band

With the brass band classic “California Legends” as its centerpiece, the Humboldt Bay Brass Band’s April 5 concert continues its romp through musical history during Humboldt State’s centennial year.


This time five separate brass quintets awaken musical nostalgia with radio hits of the 1920s through the 1960s. In addition to familiar tunes from Hoagy Carmichael to Dave Brubeck and the Beatles, there’s a song by Humboldt County composer Joseph Byrd about “Cockeyed Florence,” a town character in Trinidad.

Then the full 25-member brass band plus three percussionists perform Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” the Scottish tune “John Peel” and another local work, “Redwood Highway,” written by Professor Frank Flowers and arranged by HBBB leader Gil Cline.

“California Legends” by Bruce Broughton, the major work on the program, is conducted by Audrey McCombs, a recent HSU graduate just returned from a year studying in England where she performed with some of the UK’s best brass bands.

Rounding out a nostalgic evening is “25 or 6 to 4,” a tune recorded by the legendary 1970s jazz-rock group, Chicago. “I enjoyed arranging it, “Cline admitted. “It reminds me of playing all around Humboldt County in a cover band in the 70s called Open Road. We did lots of hits by Chicago, Tower of Power and Blood, Sweat & Tears.”

The Humboldt Bay Brass Band performs on Saturday April 5 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $8/$5, free to HSU students with ID, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. For more information visit hsumusic.blogspot.com. An HSU Music Department production.