BRAZIL, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A lot has changed throughout the history of America since 1858, but one thing that has remained is the Brazil Concert Band.
Local people in the area are welcome to enjoy another summer of the historic Brazil Concert Band with the band’s longest-running conductor, Matthew Huber, playing the band into its 165th year.
Dating back to 1858, the Brazil Concert Band is the oldest band in the area that is still playing today. Some early members of the band also fought in the Civil War.
“Of all the bands in this general area, were definitely the oldest, and that’s kind of a claim to fame that we enjoy having,” said Huber while standing outside the historic Brazil Concert Band bandshell in Forest Park.
Built in the year 1937 through community donations, the bandshell has been the gathering place of thousands of concerts throughout the band’s history.
According to Huber, in the band’s earlier history, the members performed at a Lincoln – Douglass debate two years before Abraham Lincoln become the country’s 16th president.
Huber’s love of history and music collaborate in his role as the Brazil Concert Band’s Director and Conductor, his passion for the band showing through in his personal history with the collection of musicians.
“I started playing in the band in 1968, I was 15 years old. I was 15 there and I’m 70 now. I’ve been here 55 years, and I’ve been the director for the last 42 years. I believe I was 29,” Huber said. “I’ve had the job longer than anyone in the 165 years of the band. I’m proud of it. I don’t feel tired, I don’t feel worn out yet. I just hope I have another good 10 years that I can still do this because I greatly enjoy it. One of my projects is to preserve traditional band music.”
With such historic roots in the area, the Brazil Concert Band has made a lasting impression in the community. A project started in 2010 by two former band members brought in over 225 benches that were donated by various local individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout the area, adding to the bandshell and allowing seating for about 2000 people.
Huber referred to the band’s history after the members enlisted in the Civil War and returned to the area to become prominent members of the community, making a comparison to the band’s activity in the community today.
“We do know that the band en masse enlisted in the Civil War and miraculously every one of them survived, came home, and become various positions here in town. Some became council members, one of them become the mayor, there were various business owners, and it was kind of the nucleus of the community as I look at the band of today. We’re pretty much the same. A lot of people who are very active in the community are also a member of our band.”
For those interested in attending a performance by the Brazil concert Band this year, the band plays at the bandshell in Forest Park on Sundays from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. unless specified otherwise.
The Brazil Concert Band’s dates and themes for the 2023 season are as follows:
- Sunday, June 4 | King Charles III Coronation Concert
- Sunday, June 11 | The Pride of Brazil
- Sunday, June 18 | A Salute to Dads
- Sunday, June 25 | Nautical Night
- Sunday, July 2 | Patriotic Favorites (7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
- Sunday, July 9 | After the Fourth Special
- Sunday, July 16 | A Great Place To Be
- Sunday, July 23 | Play Ball!
- Sunday, July 30 | BCB Goes Disney
- Sunday, August 6 | German Oktoberfest
- Sunday, August 13 | A Concert Kaleidoscope
- Sunday, August 20 | To Serve and Protect
- Sunday, August 27 | Grande Finale 2023 (7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)