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The Blue & Gray Press | May 28, 2018

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Elby Brass Sends Ball Circle Into A Frenzy

There comes a time when all you want to do is de-stress, dance and have some good, old-fashioned, rambunctious fun. And then, when you crave even more, there’s Elby Brass.

Elby Brass are chaotic. They put on one of the most memorable and interactive performances I, as an attendee, have ever witnessed last Thursday, Sept. 1, on Ball Circle.

“They always put on a good show,” said senior Marie Sicola.

This purely brass-and-mobile musical troupe took the streets of Fredericksburg by storm upon their creation in 2009 and have since formulated a slew of fantastic and funky covers of old-school hip-hop songs and some originals as well.

One member of Elby Brass, UMW alumnus Nate Masters, performed his own “fight song” as a tribute to the school. With a catchy chorus and motivating chants, the audience obeyed his orders to sing-along and crouch before a final crescendo.

Sophomore Katherine Gazelle said, “I really liked the fight song. I thought it was better than anything we’ve ever had.”

The audience was undeniably devoted to Elby Brass. Not a single soul was found standing still – every individual was bopping and grooving, enchanted by Elby’s extreme energy. Students were invited to boogie alongside the brass band on stage sans hesitation or trepidation.

I will admit that in the midst of a hazy musical trance I found myself whirling away on stage dancing around independently of any and all inhibitions.
The atmosphere Elby Brass created sets them apart from any other performers in the Fredericksburg area. It is one thing to converse and jest with viewers here and there, but another to walk out into the audience to dance, play and sing right beside the listeners themselves. The closing number of the evening involved each member of Elby Brass exiting the stage to enter the audience in single file, marching halfway through Ball Circle and quieting their loud and lively brass to a whisper. Gradually, the entire congregation followed until everyone, both Elby Brass and the audience, found themselves lying on the ground with their ears pounding and hearts thumping.

That final moment embodies attending an Elby Brass show: the exhaustion and energy leaves you with a goofy grin and a recurring beat.