In 2006, Christine Beard sent an email to the director of the International Vintage Band Festival (VBF), Paul Nimesto to ask if one of the nearly 100 participating bands would be interested in having her as a guest soloist with their ensemble during that year’s festival. Dr. Michael O’Connor, an early music historian and the artistic director of one of those bands, took her up on her offer and the rest is history: Christie has since served as a core member of Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band for the past 12 years.
Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band (NVCB) is comprised of professional musicians from across the U.S. who perform Victorian-era music (last half of the 1800’s) and perform at high pitch (A=456) on period instruments constructed between 1850-1900 (including mouthpieces – not reproductions). Beard’s instrument for this group is a Boehm-system cocus wood and silver piccolo made by the well-known British maker of the time, Rudall Carte, c. 1900. Since debuting with NVCB at the VBF in 2006, Christie became the band’s first official woodwind member and has performed with them in every engagement since that time, including playing piccolo on the ensemble’s first commercial CD, “Thomas Coates: The Father of Band Music in America” which was released in 2016 on the MSR Classics label to outstanding critical reviews (Visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/thomas-coates-the-father-of-band-music-in-america/1237303097 for sound samples or to purchase).
The musicians of Newberry’s gathered in Albany, NY from July 28-August 2, 2018 to record their second CD which will be edited this fall with an anticipated release of December 2018, also on the MSR Classics label. Laying down a total of 13 tracks in three days, this newest CD project includes a solo track featuring Dr. Beard on piccolo performing “Through the Air” (1899) by August Damm, one of the most famous pieces of the era for solo piccolo and band.
NVCB will return as one of the mainstage groups at the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, MN in August 2019. To find out more information about Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band, visit www.facebook.com/newberryband/