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Thurmont Brass Band officially named

Danielle Ryan

(12/23) Thurmont resident, Morris Blake, has been involved with music for nearly three decades. He currently serves as the organist at Harriet Chapel and teaches bells, choir, and violin. Over the years, he has learned to play many instruments, including the piano, violin, mellophone, and trumpet.

Taking his passion for music, Blake came up with an idea: to form a New Orleans swing-style brass ensemble and choir in the Thurmont area. His dream was quickly realized and the band was formed with four members last month. The group rehearsed together every Sunday and continued to search for additional members. After numerous practices and gaining a few additional members, the group was ready for their premiere performance.

Just in time for Christmas, the group decided to perform at the Thurmont Senior Center On December 21. Besides Blake, the band has six additional members: Rachel Murdorf, Devin Shorb and David Fisher on the trumpet, Alex Contraras, Ed Price on the baritone, and Gene Blum on the tuba.

The group performed ten Christmas selections, including O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Hark, The Herald Angels Sing; Joy To The World; Silent Night; and White Christmas. The group looks forward to playing together at more events in the future and their growing fan base is looking forward to it as well.

After the performance, the group received their official name. Vickie Grinder, Thurmontís Economic Development Manager, introduced Mayor John Kinnaird to present the new band and announce their official name - "Gateway Brass Ensemble." After receiving name ideas from the public and putting the suggestions up for a vote, the submission by Susan Free earned the highest number of votes.

The band is still looking for additional members. Those interested should contact Morris Blake.

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