The Salem County Brass Society is a non-profit musical organization dedicated to bringing the music of a quality brass ensemble
to the residents of Salem County in Southern New Jersey.
The ensemble got its start in the Spring of 1970 when a trio of high school students was asked to play for an Easter sunrise service at Union Presbyterian Church in Carneys Point. Encouraged by then assistant pastor, Rev. William Shaub, and coordinated by Mr. Charles H. Musser, the group maintained approximately five to six church members for the next several years, playing only sporadically at the church.
In mid 1973, the ensemble began to gain in popularity and interest, increasing in size and playing regularly. As the musicianship improved, the group began to entice more adults to join and eventually reached beyond Union Presbyterian Church to include members from numerous area churches and several Salem County Communities. By 1974, the ensemble needed a director. These duties were taken over by Mr. O. Stephen White, one of the group's trombonists. In 1975, the ensemble adopted the name Salem County Brass Society, and also became a financially independent organization. The group incorporated in July of 1979. Mr. White resigned in April of 1982 and the duties of director were assumed by Mr. Ronald D. Miller. In January 1988, Mr. Charles H. Musser was next named director, and Mr. James R. Howe as associate conductor. In 1998, Mr. James R. Howe retired from the Brass Society. In 2001, Dr. Michael Culbert was named associate conductor of the Society. In 2006, director and original member Mr. Charles Musser retired and after a year-long search, Mr. Phil Blackman was selected as the group's director. In addition to playing in churches, the Brass Society performs for many civic and social functions during the year. The performance highlights of the year are the annual Holiday Concert and the Spring Scholarship Concert, when the Brass Society presents a savings bond and certificate to an outstanding graduating brass player from each of the five Salem County high schools as well as a large single scholarship to a local music student entering college to study music in any discipline. The Spring Scholarship Concert also features noted guest artists from around the region.
The annual concert performances, which were once held at the Union Presbyterian Church, into the early 2010’s, are now, held at Davidow Hall on the campus of the Salem Community College in Carney’s Point. Today members come from all over the tri-state area as well as several Salem County Communities. The playing season for the Salem County Brass Society extends from September through June and membership is by invitation only. For more information on the Salem County Brass Society please visit salemcountybrass.com.
The band is located out of Carneys Point.