The Buffalo Silver Band performed at Chautauqua Institution in 2013 in front of its biggest crowd of 1,100 people. David Myro, bass trombone player, said the band hopes to repeat that success this weekend and looks forward to playing at the Institution again.
The Buffalo Silver Band will prepare crowds for Independence Day a little early with a performance titled “Made In America” at 2:30 p.m. July 3 in the Amphitheater.
“It’s a great venue because the crowds are enthusiastic, the acoustics are great and the setting is beautiful,” Myro said.
He said the music the band plays isn’t limited to solely the classical that most people expect. The British-style brass band, one of only two in the state of New York, will play everything from folk classics to jazz to Broadway tunes, according to Myro.
British-style brass bands, he said, have coronets in place of trumpets, which produce a slightly mellower sound. The ensemble also consists of many horns and percussion.
The program includes “Summon the Heroes” by John Williams, “American Civil War Fantasy” by Jerry Bilik, “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima, an armed forces salute titled “America’s Finest,” “Semper Fidelis” by John Philip Sousa and “Putting on the Ritz” by Irving Berlin.
Myro described the concert as palatable and fun, saying there are no really long pieces. That decision helps attract young listeners, one of their primary audience targets.
At the band’s centennial celebration last year, it received a grant to involve local high school bands in workshops and a performance, Myro said.
Myro started playing music when he was in high school. He said a lot of research proves that kids who play musical instruments get good grades and aren’t as likely to use drugs.
“Typically, the kids we know from our friends and relatives who come to the concerts are really very enthusiastic,” Myro said. “They have so much fun, and they want to go practice harder.”
However, the concert is not only aimed at children, Myro said, but something entire families can enjoy.
“We bring a different style of music, which is both familiar and popular in the kind of songs,” Myro said. “But in a new kind of setting and new kind of arrangement.”
The band, comprising entirely volunteers, practices in donated rehearsal spaces, most recently churches in West Seneca and Buffalo, Myro said. In return for these spaces, Buffalo Silver Band plays free concerts for the church communities.
“Consequently, it is just a devotion,” Myro said.
The band may be all volunteers, Myro said, but they’re as talented as paid professionals.
In 2014, the Buffalo Silver Band won the Hannaford Cup at Toronto’s Festival of Brass for their playing of “The Vanished Army” by K.J. Alfford. Next year, Myro said, the group commissioned an original work by Stephen Bulla.
The ensemble plays about 20 concerts a year at senior citizen centers and park concerts in addition to brass band competitions.
“The performance is very high quality,” Myro said. “And meets the standards that Chautauqua is used to.”