Železiarne Podbrezová Brass Band, Slovakia

The brass band was established in 1838.

Its founder was Tomáš Hromada – the preacher and priest. It is the oldest brass band in Slovakia.

The band has raised hundreds of musicians throughout its history. For its musical performance and recognition of its significant role in promoting the culture it was awarded a prestigious prize – Karol Pádivý Prize.

The orchestra has made several records for Slovak Radio, and performs live at spas and various formal celebrations. Two TV documentary movies were made about the brass band. Its first CD was released in 2002. There has been an ongoing significant collaboration with two composers – Gregor Roletzký and Adam Hudec. The latter composed a special music “Podbrezovská polka” and "Oslavná" for the orchestra. The arranger Miloslav Hlaváček adopted many songs for the orchestra.

The ensemble consists of 44 members - pupils form elementary schools, adult workers form Železiarne Podbrezová and other companies. Among the oldest members of the ensemble are: Jozef Turis, Matúš Melicherčík, Miroslav Lehoczký, Vojtech Kotrán, Peter Gregor.
The youngest generation is represented by: Eva Dekrétová, Juraj Vilmon, Juraj Zahradníček, Hugo Zahradníček, Martina Halajová.
All of them are great fans of the brass music.

The brass band ranks among the best in regional festivals. The orchestra also participated in international competitions in Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland. One of the orchestra’s best performances was its participation at “Music Summer” festival in 1995 in Vinipeno, Italy. The orchestra also played at festivals in Jastrzebí in Poland and Musiktage Bosel in Germany in 1997 (awarded the 2nd prize). They also performed at 20th Osterreichisches blasmusikfest in Vienna and repeatedly at Musiktage Bosel in Germany. In 2003 the ensemble successfully represented Slovakia at International Music Festival in Swiece, Polandand in 2008 at International Festival “FEDO 2008” in Štetí, Czech Republic. In 2011 they won silver medal at the festivals “Zlota lyra 2011” (in Rybnik, Poland) and “Vyšehradské dni” (in Považská Bystrica, Slovakia).

Various repertoire of the brass band includes not only typical brass band music, but also compositions, operas, operettas, musical hits and a majorette’s show. The orchestra can play jazz and modern music too.

In 1983 Peter Zaoral (previously a soloist of a military band) became the brass band conductor. From 1978 to 2002 the ensemble was conducted by Pavel Šianský. Afterwards, from September 2002 to September 2003 it was conducted by Pavol Machajdík and from October 2003 to September 2011 by Jozef Kráľ. Nowadays, Pavel Šianský is the brass band conductor again.
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