Citrus Heights marching band unveils dinosaur made of old instruments

dinosaur, citrus heights marching band
Citrus Heights Community Marching Band Director Kathy Cook with husband, bill, next to “Brassie” the dinosaur. // Photo courtesy, CHCMB

By Hazel Ford–
A community marching band in Citrus Heights has added a giant dinosaur to its formation. “Brassie the Brassaurous” is over seven feet tall and 18 feet long, and is a tyrannosaurus-shaped statue made from 45 different “extinct” musical instruments.

Brassie was built in about a week’s time by Bill Cook, the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band’s co-program director, along with part-time help from the band’s music director, Kody Tickner.

“I just started laying out old instruments and used my construction experience and knowledge to put everything together,” Cook said in a Sept. 15 news release. He said the idea to build Brassie came after he saw a dinosaur made out of tuba parts on Facebook and also because the band has a “Jurassic” theme for 2017.

“We sometimes purchase or get donations of used musical instruments and some of them turn out to be broken and beyond repair,” said Bill’s wife, Kathy, who co-founded the band in 2005 and serves as the main program director.” Those are what we used for Brassie.”

The dinosaur is scheduled to make its debut appearance at an upcoming performance at Bella Vista High School, where the marching band will perform the Jurassic Park theme song, flowing from this year’s theme: “Don’t let music go extinct.”

The all-volunteer marching band currently has 70 members of all ages, the youngest being six years old and the oldest aged 87. With 60 musicians, nine flag carriers, and a drum major, the community band boasts a wide range of ability.

Founded 12 years ago when the Citrus Heights Parade Committee was in need of a marching band for the annual Red, White, and Blue Parade, the band started with 25 experienced adult musicians and an eight-year-old baton twirler, according to the news release. In 2013 the band received a Heroes and Human Services Award presented by former County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, and most recently the band’s name appeared among the “top 20 accomplishments” in a list published by the City of Citrus Heights earlier this year.

Following their mission statement — “Keep music alive for all ages!” — the band welcomes new members at all levels of experience and will provide musical instruments and limited musical instruction if needed. However, the group says potential band members “should be able to read music.”

The local marching band is a non-profit organization funded in part by its annual spring-time Spaghetti Feed and October Howl-O-Ween events. The band also raises money through community donations and bi-annual yard sales.

The band now performs at more than 20 events a year in Citrus Heights and nearby communities, including annual performances at the city’s Tree Lighting Ceremony each December and a “flash-mob” performance inside the Citrus Heights Walmart during the Christmas season.

Watch video: Citrus Heights Marching Band ‘Flash Mobs’ Walmart

The band’s upcoming performance at the Bella Vista High School Community Show will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 30, at 8301 Madison Ave. After its debut at the high school, Brassie will be showcased at the community marching band’s fall and winter shows, including the Oakmont Competition at Oakmont High School on Oct. 14, and the Folsom Fall Festival at Folsom High School in November. In between shows, the band says Brassie is scheduled to be on display at city hall in Citrus Heights.

Those interested in supporting or joining the band are invited to contact Kathy Cook at (916) 725-0198, or