Blissfield Community Concert Series


Sunday, January 10, 2016 - 3 pm
Blissfield First Presbyterian Church
304 Franklin Street
Blissfield, Michigan


The Dodworth Saxhorn Band (DSB), headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is America's Premier 19th Century Brass Band. Presenting performances in the context of the social and political issues of the time, the DSB recreates the music and atmosphere of a 19th Century community brass band.
Formed in 1985 by musical instrument collector Alexander Pollock, the DSB was originally created as a living history project. The Band is modeled after the Dodworth Band of New York City, which was the premier brass band in the United States from the 1840s to the 1880s. The original Dodworth Band was directed by brothers Allen and Harvey Dodworth who were among the most highly respected musicians and bandmasters of the 19th Century.
In keeping with its living history origins, the DSB uses only brass and percussion instruments that were built in the 1800s. The antique horns are conical-bore instruments commonly called "saxhorns". These handmade saxhorns are pitched higher than modern 21st Century brass instruments and produce a uniquely mellow tone. This class of brass instruments was invented in the early 1800s by Belgian instrument maker, Adolph Sax. Around 1840, Allen Dodworth modified them into backward facing instruments nicknamed "back'ard blasters" for use by U.S. military bands that traditionally marched ahead of the infantry and cavalry units. These modified saxhorns were used extensively during the Civil War. Following the war, many musicians returned home with their instruments and formed local community bands that played for occasions varying from funerals to political rallies. The DSB and its members currently own and play more than 60 of these period instruments.

The band performs 19th century music including compositions and arrangements from the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, private collections and university libraries as well as a few new arrangements by musicologists who are experts in 19th Century brass band style and instrumentation. Their library contains nearly 230 arrangements for full band, another 30 for quintets, four collection books and 30 carols. One of their supporters also has an extensive library of period music on which they can draw.

Click here to listen to the Dodworth Saxhorn Band on

Questions?... Call Blissfield Concert Committee member Dick Saxton at (517) 486-3429
or email Dick at

This concert partially sponsored by the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs
 and by the Michigan Humanities Council