American Brass Quintet to perform Sept. 24

Sept. 24, 2010

The American Brass Quintet will perform Friday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life. The appearance by American Brass Quintet is part of Luther's 2010-11 Center Stage Series of professional performing arts events.

Tickets for the performance go on sale Thursday, Sept. 2 at the Luther College Box Office, (563) 387-1357, open 9-10:30 a.m. and 11a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m.

Tickets may also be purchased online on or after Sept. 2 at http://boxoffice.luther.edu. Tickets are priced at $22, $20 for seniors age 65 and over and $15 for youth ages 4-18.

The American Brass Quintet (ABQ) is celebrating their 50th anniversary season. The quintet includes Raymond Mase, trumpet; Kevin Cobb, trumpet; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, trombone; and John D. Rojak, bass trombone.

The quintet commissions numerous works for brass with the goal to create a new golden age of brass repertoire—premiering over 100 contemporary brass works.  One such piece is "Copperwave," commissioned for Julliard’s centennial and composed by Joan Tower.  "Copperwave" is the most requested work in their touring repertoire and will complete the program for their performance at Luther. 

ABQ's most recent CD release is "Jewels," their eighth recording for Summit Records. The CD is a collection of six of the ensemble's concert favorites from their celebrated 47-year history.

The quintet has also recently released two volumes of music of the 26th N.C. Regimental Band and "In Gabrieli's Day," a CD of Venetian music from the turn of the 17th century.

ABQ has toured all 50 states and five continents. The group is able to play together year-round due to their residency at both the Julliard School and the Aspen Music Festival.

ABQ's residencies at the Juilliard School and at the Aspen Music Festival have provided young brass players with focused training in chamber music. Brass players from the ABQ seminar at Juilliard have gone on to positions with the American Brass Quintet (trumpeter Kevin Cobb is a 1995 Juilliard graduate), Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, Dallas Brass, and Saturday Brass.

The seeds of the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Manhattan Brass Quintet, and the Extension Ensemble were sown while these players were students in the ABQ seminar.  

Through its acclaimed performances, diverse programming, commissioning, extensive discography and educational mission, the ABQ has created a legacy unparalleled in the brass field. Hailed as "the high priests of brass" by Newsweek, "positively breathtaking" by the New York Times, and "of all the brass quintets, the most distinguished" by the American Record Guide, the American Brass Quintet has clearly defined itself among the elite chamber music ensembles of our time.

The group will hold offer a mini-residency during their time in Decorah. Designed to offer young groups and individuals an intense two-day brass chamber experience, the residencies can be customized toward young players just beginning in chamber music or more experienced, already established groups.

For information about the mini-residency, contact Tanya Gertz, director of campus programming, (563) 387-1536 or gertta01@luther.edu.

Upcoming performances in the 2010-11 Center Stage Series include Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience on Oct. 5 and "The Diary of Anne Frank" on Oct. 22.

To learn more about upcoming performances in the series, visit the Center Stage website at http://centerstage.luther.edu.