Athena Brass Band
The Athena Brass Band made its debut in 2003 by invitation at the International Women’s Brass Conference held at Illinois State University. Founded and formed by Laura Lineberger, a euphonium player and brass band aficionado, it is the first all-female brass band in the United States. The success of their first performance resulted in further invitations to perform at the Great American Brass Band Festival (2005), additional IWBC Conferences (2006, 2012, 2014, and 2019), the Brass Band Invitational at Indiana University Southeast (2009), and the Gettysburg Festival (2012 and 2015). In 2012, they gave the premier performance of Athenian Fanfare which was written for the ensemble by Lisa Galvin.
In forming Athena in 2003, Laura Lineberger first enlisted Anita Cocker Hunt as their conductor. At the time, Anita was the Director of the Cincinnati Brass Band and President of the North American Brass Band Association (NABBA). Laura then set to work contacting some of the top women brass players in the United States. Through the years, Jessica Sneeringer and Kate Wohlman have also taken their turn on the podium directing the band. Jessica has been on the podium since 2012 and is excited to continue to further Athena’s success for many years to come.
The musicians of Athena come from varied backgrounds. They include current and former members of the United States Army Band, The United States Coast Guard Band, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the New Sousa Band. There are also several college professors, public music school teachers, educators, conductors, music therapists, a sound engineer, a music publisher and a composer. In addition there is a nuclear physicist, a biologist, a sociologist, an MBA and an author. Most of the ladies perform with a NABBA brass band.