C Street Brass opens artists series

The Visiting Artists Series at Mercyhurst University – which has introduced Erie audiences to dozens of acclaimed musicians since its founding in 1988 – is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new name, the Roche Family Visiting Artists Series.

A generous gift from the Terry and Margaret M. Roche Family has endowed the series, enabling it to continue offering unique musical events to the Mercyhurst community and the Erie region completely free of charge. Each event will be accompanied by a master class in which students in Mercyhurst’s D’Angelo Department of Music can work closely with these renowned performers.

Music Professor Albert Glinsky, Ph.D., founder and director of the Visiting Artists Series, has booked four performances for the 2013-14 series, beginning with the young and dynamic C Street Brass. The quintet will perform Monday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. in Mercyhurst’s Walker Recital Hall. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, they’ll lead a master class at 2 p.m., also in Walker. Both events are free and open to the public.

C Street Brass, now in residence at Carnegie Mellon University, includes five musicians who continue to expand the limits of what is possible with five brass instruments. Placing a premium on concert presentation, C Street Brass draws its vast repertoire from the standards of brass quintet literature, classical pops, contemporary music, as well as unique transcriptions from all genres.

In an effort to expand and advance brass quintet repertoire, C Street Brass has commissioned several pieces. Most recently the group commissioned the work “Wobbity” from composer and producer Jake Berntsen, a piece that represents a marriage between modern electronica and the brass quintet. In 2010, C Street Brass commissioned "Two Pieces for Brass Quintet and Organ" by the composer David Conte and gave its premiere with organ icon and scholar Donald Sutherland.

In March 2013, C Street Brass traveled to perform and tour as ambassadors for Carnegie Mellon University in Doha, Qatar. In summer 2012, C Street Brass was the resident chamber ensemble for the Traveling Notes Music Festival and performed extensively in Tbilisi, Georgia. In fall 2012, C Street Brass was featured as the guest solo ensemble with the Peabody Wind Ensemble.

The ensemble regularly appears in chamber music concert series including Music at Penn Alps, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church and Church of the Little Flower. Additionally, they have established their own concert series at Carnegie Mellon University. Shows on this series, “Music, C Street Brass,” mix a survey of standard brass quintet literature with innovations in the genre.

C Street Brass features Scott Nadelson and Kyle Anderson on trumpet; Gabriel Colby on trombone; Eric Damashek on French horn; and Hakeem Bilal on bass trombone.

Mark your calendars for the remaining events in the Roche Family Visiting Artists Series:

Art songs with mezzo-soprano Jane Bunnell and Marc Embree on Monday, Nov. 18
Tabla for Two, featuring Masood Omari and Erie native Abigail Adams Greenway on the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument, on Monday, Feb. 10
Songs of Kerrigan and Lowdermilk performed by Mercyhurst students on Monday, March 24 (musical theater stars Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk will offer a master class the following day)

For more information, contact Krista Lamb at 814-824-2394.

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