Polishing the Brass

The Newsletter of the Friends of the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York

Volume 1, Number 1imageSpring 2008


The Gramercy Brass Orchestra is hard at work in New York City public schools.

4th grade students at PS 204, a small, successful elementary school in the Bronx, will be the first to ever launch their own school band with a performance on Tuesday, June 10 at 10:15am.

Weekly after-school band classes began this past December as a program of the Gramercy Brass Orchestra's student educational initiative called -"Polishing the Brass." Ms. Jeannine Murray, an accomplished music teacher and instrumentalist, has instructed band classes weekly with supervision by Gramercy Brass Orchestra's founder and Music Director, John Henry Lambert.

Brass instruments have been generously loaned to Gramercy Brass Orchestra by New Jersey based K&S Music, to get the program started. The 4th graders were given an opportunity in November to "audition" for a spot in the program, and the first day of class was an emotional event for many of these young budding musicians. As the instruments arrived, there was much happiness and excitement, and even tears of joy. To quote one young participant on that first day, "I love my baritone...it is SO beautiful!!"

The initial push to start this program came from a New Jersey resident, Ms. Geri Topfer, a woman with vision, energy and a great passion for the arts and an understanding of its importance to young people and our society. Ms. Topfer sought out school locations to spearhead programs like "Polishing the Brass," and found PS 204 in the process. The very perceptive and motivated principal of PS 204, Ms. Marci Glattstein, quickly recognized this as a wonderful opportunity for her students in Morris Heights in the Bronx.

Ms. Topfer's brainchild came into being upon making contact with the Gramercy Brass, and collectively this leadership team quickly got the ball rolling, selecting qualified students. Now, six months later, it is time for them to show what they have learned. With the success of this pilot program, plans are underway to begin a new group of 4th graders for the 2008-2009 school year at PS 204, while the soon-to-be fifth graders continue to excel in their musical experience.

More about the Brass's education programs here.


The Gramercy Brass Orchestra of NY will take the spotlight at the Gettysburg Festival on Sunday, June 22 at 3pm at the Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg, PA.

Hundreds of brass enthusiasts will gather for several days during the "brass band" portion of the Gettysburg Festival, which will culminate with the Gramercy Brass Orchestra's performance. The theme of the festival is "An American Celebration!"

Under the direction of John Henry Lambert, the 30 member GBO will present music of Copland, Gershwin, Porter, Williams, Brubeck, and Ellington, along with popular American themes ranging from Disney tunes to music from the Indiana Jones films. Selections of American patriotic classics will also be included.

The Gramercy Brass Orchestra's appearance at the Gettysburg Festival marks the second major performing arts festival GBO has been invited to perform in. August 2007 brought an invitation to be part of the Bard (College) Music Festival. The GBO appeared at the school's Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts along with members of the American Symphony Orchestra in a program that was shared by conductors John Henry Lambert and American Symphony Maestro, Leon Botstein.


The Gramercy Brass has announced plans for its 4th Annual Gramercy Brass Band Camp, on July 21 - 26 at Caldwell College in Caldwell, New Jersey.

Students in brass and percussion on all levels above beginner can apply by submitting an application form and a recommendation from the student's school band director. The 2008 application can be downloaded here. Scholarships are available and campus dorms may also be available for out of town guests who are accompanied by a parent. There is also daily transportation available to and from New York City to Caldwell College.

For more information call the GBO at 212-229-7607 or email jlambert@gramercybrass.org.


Gramercy Brass of NY, Inc., is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit arts organization in service to our community since 1982. Contributions in support of our professional concert programs and our "Polishing the Brass" programs in music education will gratefully be accepted and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For more information on the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of NY, or to book the orchestra or smaller ensemble for concerts, events, parties and/or ceremonies, please call our GBO Hotline at 212-229-7607 or email jlambert@gramercybrass.org.

For more about the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, including their ensembles, recordings and more, visit http://www.gramercybrass.com/, or their MySpace page.

Jeffrey James Arts Consulting
Jeffrey James,   President
45 Grant Ave.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Tel & Fax: 516-586-3433   E-mail: jamesarts@worldnet.att.net

Management / Artists | Brazinmuzikanta | 4Tay | FAQ's | Links & Other Resources