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About us

The South Carolina Brass Band was founded as a non profit organization in March of 2019 by Nicholas Fife. Initially the band functioned as a brass ensemble, with a more flexible instrumentation. We had open rehearsals at Winthrop University and Coker University that year. At each of these rehearsals the students were encouraged to sit in with the ensemble. We were able to have one chamber concert before the pandemic struck later in 2019. During the lockdown in 2020 the band produced a children's concert series on YouTube. We were finally able to have another performance in December of 2021 at Coker University with the Coker University Pep Ensemble. 


In January of 2022 JD Shaw joined us as the Music Director, and Joel Collier joined as the Artistic Director.  The band then became a community ensemble and adopted a traditional British brass band instrumentation. The band quickly grew to have over 35 members. SCBB performed at Allen University and the Pelion Performing Arts Center in 2022, and is planning on competing at NABBA in 2023.


SCBB is an ensemble dedicated to brass band music in its various forms and styles. Concert programs include original works, transcriptions, and arrangements for a traditional British brass band. While SCBB will refer to the full ensemble, there can be representative chamber ensembles from within the band. Care is given to establish relationships with local educational institutions to help promote the brass band tradition. Participation in regional and national brass band competitions is also encouraged. 

JD Shaw, Music Director

JD Shaw's horn could melt the polar icecaps, while the entire band pours it on in a molten manner.  – All About Jazz Magazine

JD Shaw is Associate Professor of Horn at University of South Carolina and was formerly the French hornist with the internationally acclaimed Boston Brass where he was creative director, music arranger and co-owner of the ensemble. JD is an active solo artist and travels extensively throughout the United States as well as many countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition, J.D. has also been a featured performer on National Public Radio's Performance Today and the CBS Morning Show.

JD received his Masters of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was awarded the Performer's Certificate under the tutelage of horn pedagogue Verne Reynolds. Hailing from Hutchinson, Kansas, he earned his degree of Bachelors of Music at the Wichita State University studying with Dr. Nicholas E. Smith. Other influential teachers include Roland Berger, David Krehbiel, Peter Kurau, and Philip Myers. Orchestral credits include associations with the Rochester Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Missouri Symphony, and the Boston Pops. Prior to his position at University of South Carolina, Professor Shaw has held teaching posts at Boston College, University of New Mexico and University of Miami.

As an active performer and prolific arranger, JD has recorded over 15 albums encompassing diverse musical styles from the Classical, Jazz, and Latin genres. Such record labels include Loft Recordings, Mark Records, and Summit Records. His Latest album entitled "Tales of Imagination" features Professor Shaw showcasing new music for solo horn and wind band. This album, released on the Summit Records recording label is conducted by former CBDNA President Eric Rombach-Kendall and performed by the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony.

As a prolific arranger, Professor Shaw writes music for many orchestras, bands, and chamber ensembles. His arrangements are featured with several publishers and can be heard on many recording labels and performance stages across the world. Currently, he is the music arranger for the world champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps.

JD Shaw is dedicated to promoting music education for young, aspiring musicians. While teaching technical and musical achievement, J.D. strives to endow students with the wisdom to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit through the studies of finance, marketing, program development, salesmanship, internet skills, and effective interpersonal communication. With the help of Conn-Selmer, Jupiter Music, National M.E.N.C., and VH1's Save the Music foundation, he has taught master classes for young artists across the world spanning age-ranges from elementary to college. Also, J.D. has presented and performed clinics and workshops for music educators at events such as the Mid-Europe Music Educators Convention, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles convention, National Musical Educators National Conference, and The Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic.

Joel Collier, Artistic Director

Dr Joel Collier brings with him a wealth of experience in the areas of music performance, composition, conducting and pedagogy. Currently Assistant Professor of Music at Allen University, Columbia SC, Dr Collier studied for both his Masters and Doctorate in Euphonium Performance, Pedagogy, and Literature at James Madison University, under Kevin Stees. Prior to that he received his Bachelor of Science in Music Industry: Music Technology from Drexel University.

Dr Collier is a multi-award winning composer and euphonium soloist, regarded by Demondrae Thurman as “an excellent example of what’s good about the future of music.”. He is a multiple winner of the Drexel University Concerto Competition (2008 and 2010), obtained first place in the NABBA Low Brass Slow Melody Contest (2012), and was a finalist in the JMU Concerto Competition (2014). As a composer, he was the winner of the New York Staff Band Composer Contest in 2019 with his work Personent Hodie, while in 2018 and 2020 he came runner-up in the same competition. Dr Collier currently has 15 published works with The Salvation Army in the USA and the UK, as well as BrookWright Music and PrimaVista Musik.

As a euphonium soloist, he has held principal positions with Atlantic Brass Band, JMU Brass Band, National Capital Band and River Brass, whilst also being a soloist for the Southern Territorial Band, The Salvation Army’s premier band in the southern states of the United States. Dr Collier has two solo CDs to his name – Shadowed(2015), where he features as a euphonium soloist with brass band, and Dream Big Little One (2020), a solo piano recording of all original lullabies. In addition, he features on a number of other recordings for groups including the Southern Territorial Band, National Capital Band, Drexel Fusion Band and Pendel Brass.


In the field of education, Dr Collier has wide ranging experience having been a summer music instructor at various summer music conservatories across the United States, where he fulfilled the roles of Band Director, Faculty Brass Ensemble Performer, and Private Lesson Instructor. Between 2011 and 2013 he was a Graduate Assistant at James Madison University, before progressing to Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the same university until 2016. Dr Collier enjoyed a brief season from 2016-2017 as Creative Arts Directorfor The Salvation Army in Fredericksburg, directing weekly music and arts programs. Between 2017 and 2021 he was the Divisional Music Director for The Salvation Army’s Kentucky and Tennessee Division, overseeing all the music and arts programs.


Between 2014 and 2020 Dr Collier was on the Board of Directors for the North American Brass Band Association (NABBA), serving as Vice President between 2017 and 2019. He was also Band Manager for the Massanutten Youth Brass Band from 2012 to 2016. He is currently a Besson Performing Artist, and plays on a Besson 2052 euphonium. 

Nicholas Fife, CEO and Founder

Dr. Nicholas Fife is a horn pedagogue and performer from Fort Mill, South Carolina. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina (2011), followed by his master's degree from Louisiana State University (2013), where he served as the graduate teaching assistant for the horn studio. Dr. Fife finished his DMA at the University of Texas at Austin (2020). His professional performing career began while attending the University of South Carolina, performing with Symphony Orchestra Augusta and the South Carolina Philharmonic. He has since performed with the Laredo Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Mid Texas Symphony, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Tigerland Brass Quintet, Beaufort Symphony, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Rock Hill Symphony, Florence Symphony, Canton Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music, Freedom Brass Band, the Texas All Star Horn Professor Horn Choir and other ensembles in North America. In December of 2013 Dr. Fife earned the second horn position with the Beloit Janesville Symphony and performed with the orchestra until May 2015. Dr. Fife has also performed as a soloist with the Beloit Janesville Symphony and the Balcones Community Orchestra. 


Nick's years of pedagogical experience include teaching horn and chamber music at Texas A&M International University and brass studies at Coker University, where he formed the Coker University Brass Ensemble. He currently teaches horn at Winthrop University. He has also been a guest lecturer for many institutions of higher learning, including The Academia de Música de Costa Cabral, University of Texas San Antonio, Davidson College, Hastings College, Texas State University, University of North Carolina Charlotte, University of Texas Horn Day, and for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. 


Aside from teaching and performing, Nick likes to spend his spare time composing and arranging. Since 2011 Dr. Fife has been composing works for brass and electronics. In June 2018, the Atlantic Brass Quintet premiered one of his compositions at the Mostly Modern Festival, which led to several commissions. Nick has over a dozen published works with Wavefront Music and Sheet Music Plus. Dr. Fife's compositions have been performed all over the United States and internationally, including the Beloit Janesville Symphony, The University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Whitewater, New England Conservatory of Music, Mannes School of Music, Florida State University, Texas State University, Sound Thought Festival (UK), Texas A&M International University, University of Louisiana Monroe, Coker University, The University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute. 


Dr. Fife recently founded the South Carolina Brass Band, which consists of college brass professors, band directors, orchestral musicians, freelancers, and community members. The goal of the organization is to bring British brass band music to the Palmetto state. His great hope for the organization is to combine brass band with his love of education by expanding the group to include youth brass ensembles in the near future.

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