The band is back, brassier than ever.

River City Brass Band began its 2010-11 concert season in September, and the brass will shine through May.

The September concert, “Curtain Up,” was the first performance with new conductor and music director James Gourlay.

“We’re calling this season the ‘James Gourlay Era’ because the River City Brass is proud to have him aboard,” said Carolyn Tuminella, associate director.

“James is the perfect match. The musicians and the audience have taken to him. Everyone is pleased.”

River City Brass Band plays the same concert series at other locations throughout western Pennsylvania, and its home in Johnstown is Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in Richland Township, where concerts will be held at 3 p.m. Sundays.

The band features 25 brass players and three percussionists, which allows the group to present a sweeping repertoire of American tunes, big band swing and jazz, music from Broadway and Hollywood, classical and contemporary masterworks and traditional marches.

The season will feature musical masterpieces, patriotic songs, Christmas carols, show business tunes, big band sounds and some really hot stuff to end the year.

“Have Brass, Will Travel” on Oct. 10 will take the audience on a whirlwind tour of the world of music, featuring great masterpieces and fun favorites from far and wide.

“This will take the audience into different places, with solos from the band,” Tuminella said.

“American Heroes” on Nov. 7 will pay tribute to the men and women, past and present, who built our country, defended it and strived to make it great.

The concert will honor the bravery, sacrifices, creative genius and can-do spirit of America.

“Christmas Brasstacular” on Dec. 5 will bring talented young choral singers from western Pennsylvania together with River City Brass in a favorite holiday tradition featuring Christmas music from popular to sacred and choral to instrumental.

At each venue, different local choirs will perform.

In Johnstown, choirs from Westmont Hilltop and Conemaugh Township Area school districts will be onstage with the brass.

“We have an interest in bringing families into the holiday season,” Tuminella said.

“That’s Entertainment” on March 6 will be a fun concert of music from stage and screen, with the matchless River City take on the music of show business.

“The Sounds of Swing” on April 3 will take the audience into the stylish, swingin’ world of the big bands.

“Summer Barbeque: Some Really Hot Stuff” on May 15 will be the season finale.

Information: (800) 292-7222.

Tickets: $25 and $23 for adults, $23 and $21 for senior citizens and students.

On the Web: www.rcbb.com.

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