In 1981, something special happened River City Brass (RCB), under the baton of conductor Robert Bernat, took the stage at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, PA for its inaugural concert on November 21st. The group was the first of its kind to be formed in America in 25 years. The premiere was a moment of musical excellence and determination to revive the tradition of American brass bands. Critics called the band “most sensational” and stated that they “brought a different facet of the world of music to Pittsburgh audiences”. Today, the group is still dedicated to bringing the world of music to audiences.
Our mission is to entertain, educate, and engage citizens locally, nationally, and internationally in the American musical culture.
Three components allow for the execution of RCB’s mission statement, including its annual concert series, contracted performance, and School of Brass. These elements allow for the band to reach a wide variety of audiences, while educating today’s youth at home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Each year, River City Brass presents 25 to 35 regional concerts at five venues across Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. This allows for RCB to introduce a diverse repertoire while engaging audiences in their home communities. Programs include Hollywood Meets Bollywood, Celtic Connections, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, Christmas Brasstacular, and much more. These concerts provide patrons with options to customize their experience by choosing the venue they attend and the choice between purchasing single tickets or a series subscription.
Aside from the annual concert series, RCB performs dozens of concerts on tour each year for community arts series, corporate events, major music festivals, and more. Venues and hosts have seven programs to choose from, including our Brasstacular and Celtic shows. The group also offers master classes and side-by-side programs to schools for a unique learning experience.
The education portion of our mission statement is taken very seriously and is cemented through the River City Brass School of Brass. This extracurricular music education program is two semesters long and serves students in grades K-12. The program is operated in partnership with the Penn Hills School District and is dedicated to excellence in music education and improved musical opportunities.