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River City Brass flies high with 'American Heroes' program

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Lt. Peter J. Folliard, a virtuoso euphonium player Credit: U.S. Air Force

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By Bob Karlovits
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:57 p.m.

James Gourlay is turning over his baton to a member of the U.S. Air Force Band in this month's River City Brass concerts.

Lt. Peter J. Folliard, a virtuoso euphonium player, will lead the band through its “American Heroes” program, which Gourlay calls “unabashedly patriotic” as it takes place around the celebration of Veterans Day.

New Jersey-native Folliard studied euphonium with Brian Bowman, a former River City member from whom he learned about the band.

“River City Brass is our country's professional brass band, and this is a real treat,” he says.

Besides a lineup of all-American favorites from “The Stars and Stripes Forever” to John Williams' “Midway March,” the concerts also will be highlighted by visits from members of the Michael J. Novosel Foundation.

The Moon-based group provides support for veterans in the transition after service. It is named after an Etna native who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and won the Medal of Honor.

Gourlay says there will be collections for the group at intermissions and after the concerts.

Besides well-known favorites such as Aaron Copland's “Fanfare for the Comm on Man” and Morton Gould's “American Salute,” the band also will premiere two works revised for brass band.

“Suite of American Overtures” is a collection of patriotic tunes by New Jersey composer Stephen Bulla, and “Apollo 11” is by band flugelhornist Drew Fennell. Both were written originally for symphony orchestra.

Concerts will be Friday at Carson Middle School; Saturday at the Palace Theatre, Greensburg; Tuesday at Upper St. Clair High School; Nov. 8 at Beulah Presbyterian Church, Churchill; Nov. 14 at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Beaver County; Nov. 15 at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission: From $17 to $31. Details: 412-434-7222 or

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7852

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