Jericho Brass was born in the minds of two individuals: Otis Street and Bill Kinnaman. Otis, “The Major”, in The Salvation Army, started bands of children in many cities during his long career. After retiring in Chattanooga, he led the band at the Chattanooga Citadel Corps of The Salvation Army, and Bill was in the band.
Otis, “The Major,” Street
Bill Kinnaman is a civil engineer, Purdue graduate and lifelong enthusiast of the Euphonium and Brass Banding. His love of music led him to attend summer brass band encampments in England to hone his skills and whet his appetite for banding.
Otis and Bill envisioned a community brass band supported and encouraged by The Salvation Army. In May 1998, they put out the call, and fifteen people answered for a first rehearsal. Salvationist bandmaster Andy Gilliam led the band’s initial rehearsals.
By July of that year the band had grown to more than 20 people, and the first concert of the Jericho Brass was held July 15, 1998, Otis Street’s birthday. We continue to hold a concert on or about Otis’ birthday each season.
Dan Bowles became director at the first concert and led the band for 10 years. Frank Hale became director in 2008 and leads the band today.
Otis was promoted to glory in 2005, and the band was honored to fulfill his request to play for his funeral, held at The Salvation Army Atlanta Temple Corps. Bill continues to perform on euphonium in Jericho Brass.
The band has toured the British Isles twice: first to Yorkshire and London in 1999, and then to Bournemouth, London, and Dublin, Ireland in 2003. The first visit included a stop in Elland, Yorkshire, home of our “sister” band, the Elland Siver Band. The Silver Band has been around a “little” longer than Jericho Brass. When we sent them an announcement about our 5th anniversary, they sent one announcing their 150th!
Our annual outreach includes a brass band reading session with a guest conductor and clinicians. This has grown to an event with more than 50 participants. The 2014 session was led by Casey Thomas, and included members of Jericho and 5 other brass bands. Our March 2015 session was lead by the Music Director of the Chicago Brass Band, Dr. Colin Holman.
Our 2018 Clinic is being scheduled.
As of the beginning of 2012, the Jericho Brass has performed over 400 concerts, making it one of the hardest-working bands in the world. Recruitment continues today, with our motto: “All we want from you is every Monday night for the rest of your life.”