Fall into the holiday groove

Saturday's big band concert fundraiser to help school music programs
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO The Big Horn Brass band will perform a holiday concert as a fundraiser for West Linn High School, as well as Athey Creek and Rosemont Ridge middle schools featuring an authentic 12-foot Swiss Alphorn.

Forget the choirs, orchestras and dueling pianos this holiday season. Instead, check out the Big Horn Brass band's holiday concert.

The band is performing Saturday at West Linn High School as a fundraiser for the school's instrumental music programs, as well as those at Athey Creek and Rosemont Ridge middle schools.

This is the band's second year performing its holiday music for the schools. And, if last year's show is any sign, the audience will be in for a treat with this year's show.

'No one walked out of there without a smile on their face,' Kevin Egan, the high school's band teacher, said. 'It was such a great start last year.'

The Big Horn Brass was founded in 1983 by Andrew Harris, whose son, Ian, is currently a freshman at WLHS.

Andrew Harris has played the trombone and euphonium for 'many, many years.' He has played semi-professionally with several bands, including a stint with Paul Revere and the Raiders and another with a renaissance band. He also teaches trombone lessons to some of the high school students.

'Playing the music is a passion for me,' Harris said.

The Big Horn Brass band is made up of 16 players and one vocalist. Instruments represented include four trumpets, four French horns, four trombones, a tuba and two percussionists. There will also be an authentic 12-foot Swiss Alphorn, like the ones in the old Ricola cough drop commercials.

'It's a collection of 'A'-list players,' Egan said of the band.

The Big Horn Brass will play a wide variety holiday music, all specially arranged for the brass band. The audience will hear new versions of classic songs such as 'Sleigh Ride' and 'You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.'

'It's appealing to children and older people, with lots of different styles of music,' Harris said.

The concert is special to band students, Egan said, because they get to witness real working musicians.

'It allows all the kids … to come and experience firsthand the best players in the area,' he said.

'It's neat to see the kids come to the concert so they can see they can have futures as musicians,' Harris added.

All the proceeds from the concert will be split evenly between the three schools. Last year, the concert raised nearly $1,000, and Egan hopes to raise at least $3,000 this year. Proceeds will be used for clinics, lesson scholarships and to offset costs for honor groups and audition fees.

'It allows mediocre programs to become good programs, and good programs to become great ones,' Egan said. 'It provides the kids with extra instruction and support they might not get at other schools.'

The concert is open to everyone, and tickets are $10. It begins at 7 p.m. in the WLHS auditorium, located at 5464 West A St.

To order tickets in advance, email Linda Dyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on Big Horn Brass, visit www.bighornbrass.org.