Open to all wind players, brass and percussionists, and string bass players! We are a diverse group of musicians who gather to developer our muscicianship skills and perform for LGBT and other events.
Our members have a wide range of skill levels. We play concert band literature, marching band literature, popular music, classical, early music, 20th century compositions, holiday tunes, jazz and more! Join us at a rehearsal to see what we are all about.
The Blazing River Freedom Band rehearses every Wednesday evening from 7p to 9p. Rehearsals are held in the theater at Pilgrim UCC at 2592 West 14th Street in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, OH.
Do I have to read music or have performing experience?
We prefer that you have a basic background in reading music, but we have members at all levels of performing. Some merely played in high school, some are professional musicians, others learned to read and play music when they joined the band. Most of us come to the band with a high school level of playing ability. We do our best to accommodate everyone and make sure everyone is having a good time.
I have not played in a while. Is that OK?
Most definitely. Many of our members had not played for years, some for decades when they first joined. You will find that playing your instrument is much like riding a bike. It will come back to you very quickly.
Is there an attendance policy?
We realize that everyone has constraints on their schedules, and making it to every single rehearsal can sometimes be a bit unrealistic. We ask is that you contact the director if you are going to miss or be late to a rehearsal. Excessive absences make it difficult for the member to be fully prepared for a performance. It is up to the director if a member has missed too many rehearsals to perform an event.
Are there any costs to being involved?
Dues are currently $10 per month, or $100 if you pay for the entire year. Other potential costs would be the uniform shirt for marching band or travel and accommodations for optional out of town performances.
While we rely on membership dues to help pay our bills, we do not want to exclude talented, dedicated musicians because of inability to pay dues. Please communicate with our Treasurer or President if finances are an issue. No one will be turned away because of inability to pay dues.
How many performances does BRFB do each year?
It varies, however we usually do four concerts, as well as a few parades and pep performances. Cleveland Pride is one of our most visible performances, but we have also traveled to perform with our fellow LGBA bands in their hometown Pride parades in Indianapolis, Columbus, Chicago, and Rochester. These are all optional performances, and as a member, you can be as active as you would like performing with some of these other bands. Many of them invite us every year, so you will soon have friends in bands all across the country!
What opportunities exist outside of concert and marching band? What if I don't play an instrument?
The band is always looking for volunteers to help out with designing programs or flyers, aiding us the day of a performance by being an usher or running front of house, carrying a banner in a parade, keeping us hydrated during a parade, etc. We are also looking for color guard members for our marching band. Anyone interested in any of these should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.