The Brass Arts Quintet at Tennessee Tech University will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Bryan Fine Arts Building’s Wattenbarger Auditorium on campus.
The quintet is celebrating its 50th year as an ensemble in residence at TTU. For half a century, the ensemble has been commissioning and performing compositions and arrangements for brass as well as the standard repertoire.
The group is composed of TTU faculty members Charles Decker and Chris McCormick, trumpets; Greg Danner, horn; Joshua Hauser, trombone; and Winston Morris, tuba. They will play works by Samuel Scheidt, Verne Reynolds, Morley Calvert and Duke Ellington at the evening’s performance, which is free and open to the public.
The quintet will release a CD, “Suites and Treats: Celebrating 50 Years of the Brass Arts Quintet,” on the Mark Masters label later this fall.
In fall 1963, Pat McGuffey, TTU trumpet professor, and Bob Crain, TTU horn professor, started the faculty brass quintet. They were joined by students Kelly Bussell on second trumpet, Horton Monroe on trombone and Les Benedict on tuba. Larry Hoepfinger joined the TTU faculty and the quintet on trombone in 1966. In the fall of 1967, Winston Morris joined the TTU faculty as tuba professor. Morris is the elder statesman of what eventually became known as the Brass Arts Quintet, a group dedicated to entertaining and educating through the medium of the brass ensemble.
The Scheidt, Reynolds and Calvert works represent some of the first works the ensemble performed. The Ellington Suite is comprised of arrangements by Hauser and McCormick that were written for the group during the past 10 to 15 years.
The group has entertained audiences throughout the United States, appearing at major music conferences and touring for the Tennessee Arts Commission. They have played before thousands of listeners of all ages in community and school performances. The quintet has appeared on public television programs. including two Christmas specials and “Patriotic Brass,” celebrating the music of America.