Ready to assist you to add a special touch to your event!
THE FIRST BRASS OF SARASOTA
The First Brass of Sarasota is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that enjoys partnering with other non-profits. Our mission statement is “To Entertain and Educate Through Music and Stories” We have performed at many regional events and enjoyed partnerships since we began in 2012.
We have partnered with:
• The Patterson Foundation – Legacy of Valor campaign. (2013-14)
• The Patterson Foundation – Dedication of Patroit Plaza (2014)
• Sarasota Military Officers Association – 70th Anniversary of VJ Day (2016), Veteran Day Concert (2015) and Flag Day Parade (2015)
• Vern Buchanan – Veteran Appreciation Day (2016).
• Local Churches – Worship services, Weddings, Memorial Services from Punta Gorda to Sun City Center.
• Sister Cities of Sarasota – Annual Awards Luncheon
• Cell Phones for Soldiers – Collected over 1,200 phones for this national organization that provides calling cards for active military personnel.
• The Jacobite Pipe Band – Band including Bagpipes, Guitars, Drum Kit, Keyboard – Joint concerts and promotion
• I Solisti de Oneco – Woodwind Quintet – Promotion and booking
• Bay Street Jazz – A 5 piece jazz ensemble to plays at retirement centers, festivals and private parties – Promotion and booking
• ABC7 – John Scalzi (Master of Ceremony for Veterans Day Concert-2015), Scott Dennis (Master of Ceremony for BRASSFEST (8-28-16) and interviews prior to shows.
• Local vocalist – Sharon Scott, Kira Gaillard, Erika Miller, Deborah Suta, Sara Peeples-McNatt has sung with The First Brass in concert.
Awards and Grant:
• The Patterson Foundation (Legacy of Valor, VJ Day, Promoting the Architectural Award for Patroit Plaza)
• Community Foundation (Giving Challenge)
• Sarasota County Arts and Cultural Alliance to bring the joy of music, for free, to retirement and nursing facilities that do not have a budget for that.
• Sarasota Music Club (Free tickets for youth)
Our professional musicians are from varied backgrounds.
•West Point Band
•Symphony Orchestras in Germany, France, and Italy
•Boston POPS Orchestra
•Ringling Brothers Circus
•Some have played with Tony Bennett and Maynard Ferguson
Some of the musicians also have “day jobs”:
•Pawn shop owner
•Sandwich shop guy
•Gary owns/operates a large pool maintenance/renovation company.
The First Brass is unique in several ways:
•We play a mix of classical, POP, movie themes, Dixieland/Jazz
•The musicians gather before each rehearsal to share a meal. This and the participation of selecting music and other input creates a different attitude than most musical organizations. Happy musicians create heartfelt music that transmits to the listener. The excitement of brass music fills the room and lifts those in attendance off their seats, if only in the mind.
•We are talented professional musicians from the age of 18 (Parker DeWitt, Riverview High School Senior) to 88 (Bill Milner, retired conductor of the Venice Concert Band)
•Nate Blaweiss (Percussionist) has a degree in guitar from FSU and is looking forward to writing music for movies after he attends college in California. He wrote “Breath of the Wild” for The First Brass, which will be premiered at the BRASSFEST on 8-28-16.
•Troy Messner (French Horn) arranged a fabulous rendition of “Hallelujah” for 7 horns and bass guitar, which will be premiered at the BRASSFEST on 8-28-16.
The 25 member organization is routinely broken down into smaller groups for church services (21 musicians at 7 different churches last Easter), retirement centers, private parties (weddings, memorial services, festivals, grand openings, even at the Sarasota Ski-a-Rees).
•Solist (trumpets, horns, trombones,euphoniums, tubas and, of course, bagpipes) are always available for any occasion …
•First Brass Five is the quintet that typically plays at churches, retirements centers and private parties.
•Horns-a-Plenty is a new spin off ensemble that includes up to 10 horns and is available for any type of events.
•In addition to the brass musicians, we have connections with any and all instrumentalists and vocalist and can book them for any occasion.
On top of all that, we perform large brass concerts, like BRASSFEST.
Gary was raised in Sarasota and is a graduate of Riverview High School and subsequently the University of South Florida. His love for music started at a young age and he has been playing the Bagpipes, French Horn and Trumpet since 1975. He’s has played with the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Sarasota Pops Orchestra and several other local organizations. Gary was the bagpipe instructor at Riverview High School for many years and continues to give pipe lessons to anyone interested in learning. He is currently artistic director of the Jacobites Band, a unique Scottish musical organization that entertains around Florida and is the founder of the Celtic Cultural Association of Florida. He is also the founder and artistic director of The First Brass, a newly formed large brass ensemble, whose mission is to entertain and educate in Sarasota and the surrounding area.