Brass Band Instrumentation
One E flat Soprano Cornet serves as the piccolo voice. It requires a delicate touch and is used frequently as a soloist or to add brightness to the cornet tutti sound.
Four B flat Solo Cornets are the lead voices in the ensemble. The use of four cornets permits players to switch off on parts that are frequently continuous throughout the entire piece. Divisi parts are also frequent. The four solo players should ideally match each other in sound.
Two B flat Second Cornets and two B flat Third Cornets fill out the cornet choir.
One B flat Repiano Cornet is the "roving middle linebacker" of the section. Often used as a solo voice or doubling the Soprano Cornet in unison or at the octave. The Repiano is also used to add weight to the other Cornet parts.
One B flat Flugelhorn serves as a bridge to the Tenor Horns. It is a frequent solo voice and is often used as the top voice in the horn family.
Three E flat Tenor Horns (Solo, First and Second) often perform as a choir with flugelhorns and baritones. The Solo Horn is a frequent solo voice. Also commonly referred to as the Alto Horn in the United States ; it is an upright, three valve instrument, with a lighter sound than the French Horn.
Two B flat Baritones are often doubled with Euphoniums but work best as lower extensions of the Tenor Horn section. As separate voices, their ability to blend and add a middle-low voice without heaviness is a unique feature of the brass band.
Two B flat Euphoniums are the predominant solo tenor voices and also function as tutti enforcers with the basses.
Two B flat Tenor Trombones provide punch and drive because of their cylindrical construction. One Bass Trombone is both a low support for the trombone section and an additional weight to the tubas…and is the only brass instrument to be reading in concert pitch (bass clef).
Two E flat Tubas and two B flat Tubas give composers an extraordinary flexibility in dictating the sound of the bass part. The lighter quality of the E flats can have all the Iyricism of the Euphoniums while the fatter B flat Tuba sound adds weight. In octaves or fifths, the section can give the brass band an incredible richness of tone.
Three Percussionists will cover the entire spectrum of percussion instruments. Timpani, battery, and mallets are standard for almost all compositions.