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American Brass Quintet Brings Sound to OWU's Gray Chapel

September 17, 2004

[ American Brass Quintet ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- American Brass Quintet brings 44-years of experience and a drawer full of grand reviews to Ohio Wesleyan University on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in an event co-sponsored by the Performing Arts Series and the Sagan National Colloquium.

A National Colloquium pre-performance lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Gray Chapel (61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware). The performance will follow at 8 p.m., also in Gray Chapel. In addition to the events on Tuesday, American Brass Quintet will conduct two master classes on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

"Describe the ideal brass playing and you're talking about the kind of sound and ensemble produced by the American Brass Quintet," said the San Francisco Examiner. The Baltimore Sun took it another step, "The American Brass Quintet is probably this country's most distinguished ensemble of its kind now appearing before the public. Nothing seems difficult for them—from the sustaining of the quietest organ-like sonorities to the articulation of quicksilver passages requiring digital speed and tonguing agility."

American Brass Quintet—founded in 1960—has recorded 25 albums over that span with a dozen still generally available through retailers. A review of the group's 40th anniversary recording, "American Brass Quintessence," by FanFare Magazine said, "shows their collective virtuosity is burning brighter than ever. Excelsior gentleman."

American Brass Quintet has a veteran collection of musicians with three members dating back at least 20 years. Raymond Mase, trumpeter since 1973, has been responsible for many of the American Brass Quintet's performance editions and recordings of 16th, 17th, and 19th century brass music. He can be heard on over 100 recordings including two solo releases for Summit Records. Mase serves as the chair of the brass department at The Juilliard School and member of the Board of Directors of Chamber Music America and is a founding member of Summit Brass and co-principal trumpeter for the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

David Wakefield, hornist since 1976, serves on the faculty of the Aspen School of Music and The Juilliard School, where he also served as associate dean for five years. He has premiered more than 250 new works and serves as principal horn of Concordia and the Little Orchestra Society. Michael Powell, tenor trombonist since 1983, performs regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Little Orchestra Society and Aspen Festival Orchestra. Powell recently recorded the "Sonata for Trombone and Piano" by Eric Ewazen and serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers University, SUNY at Stony Brook, and the Aspen Music School.

John Rojak, bass trombonist since 1991, completed a 16-year run of Les Miserables on Broadway. He was the first brass trombonist to be artist-in-residence at the Quad City Arts and has two solo recordings. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of the Arts, and the Aspen Music School. The newest member of the quintet is Bowling Green native, Kevin Cobb. Cobb joined American Brass Quintet in 1998 as a trumpeter and works with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Speculum Musicae and is co-principal trumpeter for the Aspen Festival Orchestra. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, the Aspen Music School, and recently toured Japan with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

America Brass Quintet is the second performance in the University's Performing Arts Series 2004-2005 schedule. Robert Post will present "Post Comedy Theatre" on January 15 in Chappelear Drama Center; a cappella performance group, Quink, will perform on January 30 in Gray Chapel at 3:15 p.m.; and "Moulin Rouge" along with a special guest will be shown on March 1-2 at the Strand Theatre. Tickets for "Post Comedy Theatre" and Quink are $15 for adults or $5 for OWU students and can be purchased online at www.TicketWeb.com or by calling 866-468-3401.