Patrick Sheridan, conductor
River City Brass Band has become a delightful tradition for closing the simultaneous Prairie Pops and the Marsh Symphony on the Prairie season. They annually bring freshness, a few surprises and an ever-present "oh my" virtuosity of soloists along with the sparkle of the entire 28-piece ensemble. Upon first glance River City may seem like your ordinary British style/American brass band but one immediately detects a difference with a brighter, lighter sound and their orchestral approach with arrangements particularly suited to their specialized instrumental makeup. Instead of tenor horns we're treated to a section of French horns and the soprano trumpet replaces the usual soprano cornet. Their program is like being in a musical candy shop. The answer to, "What's your favorite?" is "All of them." Sheridan's rendering of "The Flight of the Bumblebee" on the tuba was even more thrilling than the standard set by Canadian Brass. Drummer Rick Parsons brings a whole new dimension to "Ole Man River." The ensemble's "Chicago" takes you to levels you never knew was in the music. "Somewhere" was breathtaking. On and on we could go. The program closed with RCBB thematically playing to a lively fireworks display.