Lorraine Thurston has been playing tuba for more than 20 years. When she and her family moved from Canada to Snoqualmie, she wanted to find a way to keep playing. She attended a brass festival where she was introduced to Brass Band Northwest (BBNW).
BBNW combines the rich sonority of a full symphony orchestra with the incisive rhythm of a jazz band. It was founded with the goal of sharing the sound of all-brass music throughout the Pacific Northwest. Though grounded in the tradition of the British brass band, its library of more than 500 works ranges from Renaissance composers such as Giovanni Gabrieli to contemporary works such as the soundtrack for the videogame “Halo.”
“We have such a rich, warm sound,” BBNW artistic director Judson Scott said. “We play all kinds of music and it’s always fun.”
BBNW practices and performs out of Bellevue Presbyterian Church, and has been there since 2002.
“They were so glad I was a tuba player, and a female tuba player at that,” Thurston says.
Thurston has played with BBNW every Tuesday night since.
BBNW’s upcoming June 15 concert, “Celebration,” will serve as the band’s season finale performance at Bellevue Presbyterian. As its concluding performance, Scott said the concert will feature two student soloists. One of the student soloists is Erik Thurston, Lorraine’s son.
Erik has been playing music since he could remember. “One of my earliest memories is playing on my mom’s beater tuba. It was so heavy I couldn’t hold it up right,” he said.
Erik and Lorraine have shared a love of music for several years. Erik plays tuba and bass trombone. He is a part of a few local music groups including the jazz band at Mount Si High School (MSHS).
Now, Erik and Lorraine are both playing in BBNW.
“They needed a bass trombone player,” Erik said. “I’ve been playing with them for about six months.”
“It’s been really great for us to play in the same group,” Lorraine said. “And overall, it’s been great to watch him develop as a musician.”
For Lorraine and Erik, they said they enjoy playing in BBNW because of the community aspect of the group.
“It’s always great to play music with these musicians,” Erik said. “We do this for ourselves because we enjoy it, but we also do this to serve the community.”
For BBNW’s “Celebration” concert, Scott said he wanted to feature two student brass players.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for years, and this is the first time it’s come to fruition,” Scott said. “It really gives young brass players a chance to shine.”
Erik will be performing “Mr. Nice Guy” at the June 15 concert.
“It’s really a dream come true to play in this band,” Erik said. “I’m grateful Judson asked me to do this.”
BBNW’s “Celebration” concert will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on June 15 at Bellevue Presbyterian Church.