JMU brass band invited to play overseas

Published: Jan. 24, 2017 at 11:18 PM EST
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JMU's brass band is preparing for an experience of a lifetime that will take them overseas.

They are the only American brass band ever invited to play at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, a prestigious conservatoire that is one of four conservatoires associated with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

The band got in one more practice Tuesday night before they fly to England from Reagan International Airport on Wednesday.

The director says they've been practicing everyday for two weeks to make sure they're prepared.

The group has only known about the trip for about a month and say they are excited for this opportunity.

"I didn't think it was true. I thought it was an opportunity that we might be able to do. I didn't think it was a guaranteed thing that we were invited," band president Allie Woodbury said.

"This is certainly the highlight of the band's career and possibly mine as conducting the band as well," band director Kevin Stees said.

The festival is on Saturday, and the band is performing four pieces. One is an original piece by a professor in the school of music.