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The Smoky Mountain Brass Band draws its membership from throughout Western North Carolina. The members, who represent a number of professions, share a common passion of performing music in a dynamic ensemble.

The band was founded in April of 1981 by Western Carolina University music professor Richard Trevarthen and a small cadre of the finest brass players in Western North Carolina. As the story goes, a group from Haywood County secured an arts grant for the purpose of founding a community band. This core group attended a weekend workshop promoting British-style brass bands held at N.C. State University. Workshop participants used a complete set of brand new instruments provided by the Yamaha Instrument Corporation. A Yamaha sales representative announced during the first day of the workshop that any group with a charter to establish a brass band in hand could lease to own a complete set of instruments and that the company would waive the first payment due for twelve months.

That night, over dinner in a Raleigh restaurant, the Haywood County group drew up the initial charter for the Smoky Mountain Brass Band. They presented their charter the following morning and left that afternoon, bringing the very set of instruments from the workshop with them in a rented U-Haul truck! A number of these original instruments are still being used by the band today.

Over the past thirty years the band has performed many concerts throughout the area as well as notable performances in Toronto, Ontario, Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus, OH, the Knoxville, TN World’s Fair and the 1987 inaugural ball of former North Carolina Governor Jim Martin. The band won first place in Championship category of the 1983 North American Brass Band Association competition and the 1989 competition in Asheville’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

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