Brass bands date back to the early 19th century and the Industrial Revolution. Employers began to finance work bands to decrease the political activity with which the working class seemed preoccupied during their leisure time, and the idea blossomed. Brass bands have become one of the world's most widespread forms of amateur musical performance. Today there are several hundred brass bands in North America and it is exciting to see the genre make a valuable and unique contribution to the rich musical heritage of America!
John Kincaid, Professor of Music at Western State College in Gunnison, CO, has long been an expert on brass bands in the world. While on sabbatical leave from his duties at WSC, he traveled to New Zealand and researched the brass bands of the South Pacific. He shared his enthusiasm and expertise with many brass players and founded what is now known as the Colorado Brass Band.
After several years, several Denver area residents got together and decided to start a "local" brass band, which would rehearse on a regular basis. The first band was started in conjunction with the Denver Parks and Recreation Department and used borrowed tenor horns that were old and in terrible disrepair. After several months of struggling, the band decided to withdraw from the sponsorship of DP&RD and "go independent." In 1978 players were recruited from the Front Range and the band's name became "Rocky Mountain Brassworks," with Paul Curnow as the director.
In 1990 the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District was formed in the six county metro Denver area as a means to facilitate support for local arts groups. RMB receives financial support from the SCFD committees in Adams, Broomfield, Douglas and Jefferson Counties.
Since 1991 the band has performed four times at the Colorado Music Educators convention in Colorado Springs, for the Lord Mayor of London and Princess Ann at a British Faire held in Denver, and World Youth Day opening Mass with Pope John Paul. RMB was also invited to play for the American School Band Directors Association National Convention in Boulder, the opening of Interstate 76 in Adams County, the installation of Archbishop Chaput at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, the opening ceremonies for the International P.E.O. Sisterhood convention, and the National Anthem for the Colorado Rockies. In addition, the band has developed a strong working relationship with a number of local school districts and supports their music programs with free performances.