The Festival Brass played it's first concert at the Dallas Museum of
Fine Arts in the summer of 1979. Since that time, the group has performed in a variety of settings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including park concerts, weddings, college recitals, special
corporate events, receptions, private parties, and churches.
While the ensemble enjoys all of these performance opportunities, it is in church music that the Festival Brass is most renowned. With a constantly expanding repertoire of special festival arrangements
of hymns and service music by Sterling Procter, the quintet is much in demand in area churches, adding the unique quality of brass to the music ministry for celebrations, festivals, weddings, ordinations,
and other services throughout the church year.
Combining these more than thirty hymn settings with an incidental music repertoire of over 100 carefully selected pieces from the Renaissance and Baroque
through the 20th century, the Festival Brass
can literally wrap a church service with the resonant splendor of brass music--from the quietly introspective and meditative to the uplifting excitement enhancing the most festive occasion.
The Festival Brass was the resident Brass Quintet at Guadalupe Cathedral, the home church
of the Bishop of Dallas, from 1989-1999, and may be heard on the CD Alzad la Cruz!, issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
The ensemble may also be heard at various times during the year at the following churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area:
Cathedral Guadalupe Catholic Church, Dallas
St. Rita Catholic Church, Dallas
Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Dallas
Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas
Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas
Highland Park Methodist Church, Dallas
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Dallas
Grace Presbyterian Church, Plano
1st United Methodist Church, Grapevine
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Dallas
Westcliff United Methodist Church, Fort Worth
Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth
John Nelson (1944-2003), trumpet, attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York City and the Perkins School of Theology at SMU. An
active free-lance player, he ws a member of the Fort Worth Symphony, and taught at Richland College in Dallas, and Collin County Community College in Plano. Trumpet Emeritus, ad infinitum. If you knew John,
go here.James Sims, trumpet, is one of the busiest musicians in the Dallas area. Besides teaching trumpet and brass ensemble at
Navarro College in Corsicana, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, and East Texas State University in Commerce, he is Principal Trumpet of the East Texas Symphony and the Wichita Falls Symphony,
and plays with the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Dallas Ballet, and the Festival Brass. Dr. Sims holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Sterling Procter, horn
, holds a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas. After some years playing in orchestras in South America, he is now a member of the
Fort Worth Symphony, and active as a recording musician. Sterling is an accomplished composer/arranger and musical contractor, and has published a number of special arrangements for brass, choir, and organ. He has also
done arrangements for the Broadway Baptist Church orchestra in Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Symphony, and the National Conference of The Episcopal Church of America. Visit his website for details and reviews of his music.
Ron Wilson, trombone, is Principal
Trombone of the Fort Worth Symphony, a position he has held since 1980. He has recorded with the Dallas Symphony, the Southwestern Baptist Seminary Chorus, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Fort Worth Chamber
Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony, and has played for Casa Manana Musicals since 1981. As a substitute musician with the Dallas Symphony, he has performed in all 4 trombone positions, as well as on Bass
Trumpet, Euphonium, and Alto Trombone. He has also performed with the San Antonio Symphony, and the Boston Symphony while attending the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. A graduate of Southern
Methodist University, Mr. Wilson resides in Garland with his wife and two daughters.
Sandy Keathley, tuba, holds degrees from Texas Christian University, the University of North Texas, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts
degree in Tuba. A Charter member of the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association, he has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony and Ballet, Fort Worth Opera, Dallas Symphony, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey Circus, Ice Capades, Brockport (NY) Symphony, and various recording studios, and was on the faculty of Richland College from 1980-2000. Dr. Keathley also owns a web services firm in McKinney.