Boulevard Brass Band

The current incarnation of our brass band is rehearsing every Tuesday night, 6 pm, at 595 Nantahala Ave, Athens, GA. Bring any instrument that you can play while walking--no auditions! There's a wide range of experience levels. We try to make the music accessible whether or not you can read notes. It is helpful to know where a concert B flat is on your instrument. The goal is to create impromptu parades in the neighborhood.

Our first song is "Oh When the Saints." Those four words correlate to the notes B flat, D, E flat, and F, in ascending order. After repeating that three times, we learn that the saints go mar-ching in. "In" is played in C. Then we say we'd like to be in that num-ber. "Ber" is an E flat. Ok, so there you go! That's the first song. Of course wild improvisation is encouraged.

The second song we play is called "Secondline." If you look up Wynton Marsalis's version, you can get a sense of how that goes. 


The first parade happened in 1991. Vernon Thornsberry got us started on "When the Saints." There's Cal on baritone saxophone, Angie Grass playing a meditation bell, Bettina Hubby, and Jeremy Ayers on drums.

The background photo of this page was taken by Jeremy. It shows a practice that we had in 2011 when we were the Terrible Tuba Band. There's Angie Grass, Chanda Ross, John Rogers, Cal Clements, and (barely visible) Robert Clements, Cal's dad. Pete Flick (not pictured) is on trumpet along with Vernon.