Academy Band


The Academy Band is for Brass and Percussionists ages 23 and under. They have made appearances at the 2013 Great American Brass Band festival and the 2015 Kansas Music Educators Association’s conference. In 2015 the Academy Band made it’s debut at the North American Brass Band championships, placing first in the 3rd Section.


Helen Harrelson, Music Director

Helen Harrelson is Head of Performing Arts at St James Academy in Lenexa, Kansas and President of the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy. Ms. Harreson is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester U.K. In 2005 she completed her Open University Post Graduate Certificate of Education, which lead her to teach with Bolton Music Service and assist as Student Teacher Mentor at RNCM. Helen has been a member of Black Dyke, Fodens, YBS and Fountain City Brass Bands and has presented or performed at the International Woman’s Brass Conference, the International Tuba & Euphonium Conference, International Trumpet Guild, Kansas Music Educators Association and Missouri Music Educators Association. Helen is also a Besson clinician.



Lee Harrelson, Music Director

Lee Harrelson is an Associate Professor of Music at Missouri Western State University. At Missouri Western he serves as the Chair of the Department of Music, coordinator of the music theory program and instructor of low brass and chamber music. Dr. Harrelson attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied music education and music performance before completing his masters and doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Dr. Harrelson is the founder of the Fountain City Brass Band and currently serves as its artistic director and principal euphoniumist. The Fountain City Brass Band (FCBB) is one of the America’s premiere brass and percussion ensembles and has been featured throughout the U.S. and Europe in concerts and competitions. The FCBB is the current top ranked brass band in the United States and the reigning North American Champions. Under Dr. Harrelson’s artistic leadership the band has won six North American Brass Band Association Championships, seven U.S. Open Brass Band Championships and one Scottish Open Brass Band Championship since it began competing in 2004. During his tenure the FCBB has produced four commercial recordings, performed with countless world-class soloists and developed a youth brass program, the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy, that serves over 100 school aged students per year. At the 2011 All England International Brass Band Competition, as a member of the FCBB, Lee was named Best Instrumentalist; a first for an American at an English brass band competition.

Dr. Harrelson can be heard on numerous commercially released recordings and has appeared throughout North America and Europe as a clinician, soloist and chamber musician. Lee Harrelson is a Buffet Group/Besson Performing Artist.



Conductors: Helen Harrelson & Lee Harrelson

Coaches: Jen Oliverio (Front Row), Patrick Oliverio & Ron Stinson (Sop & Back Row), TJ Menges (Tenor Horn), Andy Schwartz (Trombone), Helen Harrelson & Tom Stein (Tuba) Jenny Wagner & Anna Kinkade (Percussion)

Administration: Helen Harrelson, Natalie Moses, & Vicki Case