Bram Bratá was started by Benjamin Leggett and a handful of dedicated parents in the fall of 1996. Starting with just seventeen players, mostly sixth graders, the band quickly grew to 24, 25, 26 players and necessitated starting a second younger feeder band called OK2Botay. As the band grew in size and stature, more instruments were added as well as classes for adults, youth and a flourishing summer program. While the number of members fluctuates from one year to the next, the average size is around thirty members. Bram Bratá has performed hundreds of concerts all over the Northwest, down into Southern California and three tours of Hawaii.
The members of Bram Bratá range in age from 15 to 18 years old, and the members attend several different high schools in the Tri-Cities area. While Bram Bratá is ostensibly a musical group, through involvement its members learn many valuable life lessons including collegiality, dedication, tolerance, dependability and love for self and others. Also, all members of the TCSBA musical groups pledge to be drug, alcohol and tobacco free. Bram Bratá and OK2Botay could not exist without the selfless generosity and service of the members of TCSBA and the board of directors. Find out more at tcsba.org.
Benjamin Leggett graduated from Central Washington University in 1984 with a degree in music education. After spending several years teaching in the Seattle area, Ben moved his family to the Tri-Cities where he settled first in Richland, then later West Richland. Ben spent the next 25 years teaching elementary music in the Richland School District. In 1994 he started the first elementary steel band in Eastern Washington and, soon after, along with many dedicated parents and community members, started the Tri-Cities Steel Band Association. TCSBA has brought the magic of steel band music to thousands of students through the years and tens of thousands of audience members. In the spring of 2016, Ben retired from the Richland School District in order to dedicate more time and energy to TCSBA.