Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


Out of stock



1. A Foggy Day (in London Town), George Gershwin, arr. Lee Harrelson, 2.35
2. Excerpts from the Little Russian Symphony (No.2), Tchaikovsky arr.William Gordon, 5.37
3. Over the Rainbow, Harold Arlen arr.Ray Farr, Matthew Vangiel (Flugel Horn), 4.31
4. Variations on Laudate Dominum (revised), Edward Gregson, 14.45
5. A Little Prayer, Evelyn Glennie, arr. Robert Childs, Helen Tyler (Baritone), 2.55
6. The Gael, Dougie Maclean, arr. Andrew Duncan,4.14
7. Prelude 49th Parallel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, arr. Roy Douglas, 3.11
8. Hora Staccato, Grigoras Dinicu, Jascha Heifetz, arr. Goff Richards, 2.18
9. The Piper O’Dundee, Kenneth Downie, T J Menges (Tenor Horn),4.48
10. Mid all the Traffic (Shenandoah), Leonard Ballantine, 3.37
11. Xylophonia, Joseph Green, arr. Howard Snell, Theodore Musick (Xylophone), 3.38
12. Malaguena, Ernesto Lecuona, arr. Mark Freeh, Tim Thomas (Trumpet)and Karen Zawacki (Trombone), 7.18


The line from the classic Harold Arlen tune, Over the Rainbow, has indeed proven to be true for the Fountain City Brass Band. After winning both the North American Brass Band Association Championships and the U.S. Open Brass Band Championships three years in a row, the FCBB was fortunate enough to launch a tour that would go down in banding history.

As winners of the 2008 U.S. Open, the band was invited to compete in the following year’s Brass in Concert Championship, as well as to give numerous concerts and youth workshops throughout the United Kingdom, record its second album and be the first American band to compete in the Scottish Open Championship. It was a lengthy trip that saw the band overseas during the American holiday of Thanksgiving which, being away from their homes and families, was spent as comfortably as possible in a castle-turned resort.

A few days after this, the band’s dreams really did come true when the FCBB became the first American band to win a top level brass band competition in the UK with its victory at the Scottish Open. Aptly enough, their choice for this performance was Bertrand Moren’s thrilling composition Dreams that also garnered the best soloist prize on the day for one of the founding members of the band, trombonist William Hess.

1 review for Over the Rainbow

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    As three times winner of both the North American Brass Band Championships and the US Open Championships, Fountain City Brass Band were invited to compete in the 2009 Brass in Concert Championships. They gave concerts and workshops throughout the UK, made this recording, and became the first non-UK band to win the Scottish Open Championships.

    There are 12 items on this disc; four are solos and one features two soloists. The only original brass band work is Gregson’s ‘Laudate Dominum’.

    ‘A Foggy Day (in LondonTown)’ by George Gershwin provides a lively swinging opener. It is performed in great style, and somewhere amongst all the notes the tune could be detected .

    Excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No2, ‘The Little Russian’ is in complete contrast. This fine performance showed the musicality of both band and conductor. It was exciting throughout with some great ensemble sounds.

    The first solo is ‘Over the Rainbow’, arranged by Ray Farr, and whilst this is beautifully played by Matthew Vangie on flugel horn, the sound was more of a cornet than the distinctive true flugel sound, but, that did not distract from the lovely rendition.

    Evelyn Glennie wrote ‘A Little Prayer’ for solo marimba. Usually performed as a euphonium solo by brass bands, it is here played by the bands solo baritone, Helen Tyler. While she gives a faultless performance it seems to lack the continuous flow and fullness of the euphonium sound.

    ‘Hora Staccato’, best known as a virtuoso piece for violin, has now become popular with cornet players. This arrangement by Goff Richards was recorded live at the Brass in Concert event and is a show off for the entire cornet section.

    This Kenneth Downie setting of ‘The Piper O’ Dundee’ features some excellent playing from horn soloist T J Menges, who demonstrates stylish playing in the varying moods of the piece. An excellent performance from both soloist and band.

    ‘Xylophonia’ provides a vehicle for the nimble sticks of percussionist Theodore Musick. Joseph Green, who was a member of the Sousa band, wrote it. Included in this virtuoso performance are some interesting sound effects.

    In Gregson’s ‘Laudate Dominum’ the band produce some gorgeous sounds, and this performance showed them to be equal to many of our top British bands. It is a performance of stature of a fine piece of brass band music. This was for me the highlight of this recording.

    ‘The Gael’ composed by Dougie MacLean is best known as the theme for the film ‘Last of the Mohicans’ and is performed here with clarity and gusto.

    ‘Prelude – 49th Parallel’, written for the film of the same name, was the first of Ralph Vaughan Williams film scores. Its performance here is impressive, matching the opening credits of the film, which shows the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    ‘Mid all the Traffic’, perhaps best known as the sea shanty Shenandoah, is here given the lovely winsome treatment that totally fits the sentiments of the song.

    The final piece ‘Malagueña’ features some fine trumpet and trombone playing from Tim Thomas and Karen Zawacki. It has been performed by a wide variety of combinations and is here excellently presented in the Stan Kenton version. It provides a rousing foot tapping finale that would get an audience to their feet. That is if you like that kind of music.

    Of all the American Brass Bands I have heard this is the best. I found myself being amazed at the polished technique and wonderful sounds produced by this band. It’s not surprising that they earned high praise in their contest appearances. They have the ability to perform varying styles of music to a very high standard. If you have doubts about American brass bands, go and buy this disc, you may be pleasantly surprised.

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