Published: Fri Oct 22, 2004It’s often considered the defining group that established the field of serious brass chamber music, and the American Brass Quintet will appear in concert at Tennessee Tech University’s Wattenbarger Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5.
“Of all the brass quintets, [the ABQ is] this country’s most distinguished,” says the American Record Guide, and the group — described as “the high priests of brass” by Newsweek — is hailed as “positively breathtaking” by The New York Times.
In a career that spans more than 40 years, the ensemble has performed in all 50 states — including such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center — and in various countries in Europe, Asia, South and Central America and Australia.
Its discography numbers 50 recordings, making it the largest body of serious brass chamber music ever recorded by a single group.
Also committed to the promotion of brass music through education, the ABQ has been in residence at the Juilliard School since 1987 and at the Aspen Music Festival since 1970.
More than 100 specially commissioned works for brass quintet — considered some of the most substantial additions to the repertoire — have been commissioned specifically for the group by such renowned composers as Jan Bach, Eric Ewazen, William Schuman, Melinda Wagner and Charles Wittenberg.
In addition to these commissions, performances by the ABQ typically include the quintet’s own arrangements of Renaissance and Baroque pieces and premiers of forgotten 19th century brass works.
The program at TTU will include such a sample of the group’s repertoire, featuring “Elizabethan Ayers” by Thomas Morley, “Little Suite of Miniatures” commissioned for the ABQ by Steven Sacco, “Brass Quintet” by Melinda Wagner, “Colchester Fantasy” commissioned for the ensemble by Ewazen and songs from the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band of the Confederate States of America.
A Center Stage event, the show is free and open to the public.
Members of the American Brass Quintet are Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb on trumpets, David Wakefield on horn, Michael Powell on trombone and John D. Rojak on bass trombone.
For more information about the show, call TTU’s department of music and art at 931/372-3161.