Golden State British Brass Band History

The band was organized in 1995, by Norman and Linda Taylor and Penny Dodd. Inspired by the North American Brass Band Association (NABBA)-sponsored workshops, and encouraged by John Kincaid*, Ritchie Clendenin**, and Dr. Paul Droste***, they developed a plan for the formation of a band in the Los Angeles area. The musicians in the Band represent numerous professions and vocations such as teachers, engineers, clerical workers, homemakers, and a few from the music industry itself.

Our founding conductor, Dr. John Swain, intrigued by the unique repertoire and sound of this ensemble, held the baton for the band's first two years. In 1998 he was joined by Dr. Karl Swearingen. Dr. Swain took a year off and then rejoined the band, serving until his death in 2003. Dr. Swearingen served as the band's conductor until his passing in 2007. Both directors have been remarkably successful in bringing from the musicians the organ-like sound every brass band strives to achieve.

The Band has performed in concerts in various communities in Southern California including Los Angeles, Sierra Madre, Covina, Claremont, Temple City, La Habra, and for the California Music Educators Association Conference. Special performances are presented to students in area schools each year. The Band has also appeared at Disneyland, the Nixon Library, and the annual Queen's Birthday Ball. In addition to these ongoing performances, the non-profit organization is currently accepting sponsorship donations from industry and individuals.

We are proud to be the premier British-style brass band in the Los Angeles area, except for the Salvation Army Brass Bands.

* - Emeritus professor, Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado
** - Emeritus professor, CSU Fresno, California
*** - Conductor, Columbus Ohio Brass Band

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Last updated July 8, 2008