Brass quintet to combine humor with chamber music at SFA concert
January 20, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk
The Saint Louis Brass, known for its showmanship and musicality, will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the SFA College of Fine Arts' University Series.
Although the members of the quintet look formal when they perform, audiences are pleasantly surprised at the relaxed and informal atmosphere they create, explained John W. Goodall, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts. "The virtuoso trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba players transform the stuffiness associated with classical chamber music, combining professionalism and showmanship to produce a thoroughly enjoyable music experience."
"We have a lot of fun with the audience," trombonist Melvyn Jernigan said. "(The concert) starts off really kind of straight and then gets lighter as we go along."
The program will feature American composers of both jazz and classical genres. The quintet has commissioned two jazz-oriented arrangements-the famed "Sweet Georgia Brown" and a medley "Tribute to Pops"-and will present them at this concert together with a new commission, "Daylight at Midnight" by Dana Wilson. The group will also perform songs and music of the Renaissance and tangos by the Argentinian Astor Piazolla.
Woven into the program will be a demonstration on the history of brass instruments, including an animal's horn, conch shell, short trumpet such as the one found in King Tut's tomb, a 14th century straight trombone and a French horn fashioned from a twelve-foot section of garden hose.
Since 1964, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet has been performing throughout the United States and abroad. Members of the group include trumpet players Allan Dean, from Yale University and Ray Sasaki from the University of Texas. Thomas Bacon is now the solo hornist with the Houston Ballet. Trombonist Jernigan was formerly with the Saint Louis Symphony, and tubist Daniel Perantoni is from Indiana University.
Prior to the concert, Dr. Charles Gavin, professor of horn at SFA, will give an informative talk on the group and its music at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery after the concert for a reception honoring the event's corporate sponsor, Lehmann Eye Associates.
W.M. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr.
Tickets range from $35 to $17.50, with discounts available for seniors, students and youth. For tickets or more information, please visit www.sfasu.edu/finearts or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.