DANVILLE, Ky. (Press Release) – At its most recent board meeting, the Great American Brass Band Festival Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint new board members, Bill Bandy and Michael “Fly” Hughes.
Both new members will serve a 3-year term until 2023 and will have the option to serve a second 3-year term if desired. Also, during the meeting, Missy Angolia was officially welcomed as the new Executive Director beginning August 1.
“We are very excited for the addition of both of our new members,” noted current Board Chair, Patrick McClure. “Of course Bill has been a part of the group for 2 years as the Executive Director and his is really just more of a transition to a different kind of role that allows him to remain an integral part of our mission to help bring the best talent and atmosphere we can to an event known for both for over 3 decades.”
Bandy is no stranger to the Brass Band Festival, serving as Executive Director for the past 2 years.
“As part of a strategic plan to transition from my current role as Executive Director, I am looking forward to my new role as a board member with great enthusiasm,” Bandy said. “As a Danville native, musician and business executive, I have been humbled and proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.”
Bandy is a graduate of Danville High School, where he was a member of the DHS Admiral Band under Bill Gravely. After 45 years in the corporate world, he and his wife, Kathy, returned to Danville where he became Executive Director of the festival 2 years ago.
Upon his return, he also reunited with local musicians as the trombonist in the band, PowerPlay, ROCK “N” SOUL WITH HORNS, which he was a founding member in 1974. Bandy also lends his musicianship to the Advocate Brass band, one of the core performing groups at every Brass Band Festival.
Hughes, like Bandy, is also a graduate of Danville High School, served in the Marine Corps
and is a Vietnam veteran. He previously worked at ATR and Redwing Shoe for over 23 years. He has worked as an entertainer for over 50 years as a DJ and front man, currently serving as leader of the R&B group, Soul Revue.
As a historian, he was instrumental in the forming of the Danville- Boyle County African American Historical Society in 2013. In 2014, Hughes teamed with the Heart of Danville to create the Awarding-Winning Soul of 2nd Street Festival. Incredibly involved in the community, Michael also serves on several other boards including The Pioneer Playhouse, The Danville Education Foundation, the Heart of Danville, and was on the Library’s private board and District board.
“When asked to serve on the GABBF board, I was more than excited to be a part of this great tradition here in the community,” Hughes said. “I hope to bring my 50 years plus of entertaining experience to a great 30 year run of the festival. I honestly believe there is a chance to make the festival bigger and better while adding to its legacy as one of the best in the nation.”
“Michael Hughes, aka “Fly Guy” is, in my opinion, a tremendous addition,” McClure gushed. “We have actually wanted to get him involved for a few years now, but between his work with Soul of 2nd Street and the Danville-Boyle County African American Heritage Society, he was just so busy. Then last year, as things started to get more stable, he got horribly sick. However, I talked to him this spring and realized that, thank God, he was better and back on his A-game.
Now he is renewed and reinvigorated. I haven’t seen him this excited to bring the music, flavor, and culture to the streets of Danville in years. It’s really awesome. I have known him as a musician since my own high school days when you could identify any really good event, including both my Junior and Senior Prom, by whether or not we could book Rumor Hazit, the band they had in those days, which also featured David Robertson, John Wyatt, and other members who helped build this festival to what it has been and continues to be.”
“Adding two musicians with such history is, I think, a tremendous step forward for us,” McClure exclaimed. “Adding two members with the organizational history and understanding of what events like this really require, who also happen to be musicians- it just doesn’t get any better than that!
As previously released last week, the Board also made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 event due to the well-being and safety of all, having rescheduled it twice throughout the summer. Angolia explained, “Instead of cancelling, I’d like to say that, at this time, we have postponed the 31st Brass Band Festival from 2020 to June 10-13, 2021, and we hope to make it something special at that time. We have a lot of energy and ideas out there to continue to bring a thriving event to the community for years to come, with the good-will and support of our loyal supporters and fans.”