Sunday, December 9, 2012

Milwaukee Festival Brass Christmas Concert

The Music Director of the Milwaukee Festival Brass, Maestro Mark Taylor, was kind enough to send me a summary of their concert, coming up on Sunday December 16 at 3 PM.  In fact, it was so good, I am posting it with no alterations, but with one addition:  I'll see you there!

The Milwaukee Festival Brass returns to Wisconsin Lutheran College for “Holiday for Brass II,” an exciting program of holiday traditions old and new. The concert features familiar carols, including “We Three Kings,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “I Saw Three Ships.” The band will also celebrate the season of Hanukkah, whose final day coincides with the performance, with the playing of “Festival of Lights.” And to help prepare for Kwanzaa, the band will perform Jean Francois Michel’s “Mama Africa,” a spectacle of tribal drumming, chants and song mingled with blazing brass riffs.

The performance will feature a solo performance by Stephanie Lippert, bass trombonist for the Milwaukee Festival Brass, in a jazzy rendition of “Winter Wonderland.” Audience members will also be invited to join the band for a special carol sing-along.

The focal point for this musical holiday gathering will be the Milwaukee Festival Brass presenting the North American premiere of Richard Huw Cole’s “Three Ancient Customs.” Originally scored as the test piece for the Third Section of the 2012 British National Finals brass band championship, this work explores three different Welsh traditions, all occurring in wintertime. Cole’s harmonic language is sparse, even austere, which works all the more effectively to serve as a platform for the exciting technical demands and haunting melodies in the work’s three contrasting movements.

The Milwaukee Festival Brass will present “Holiday for Brass II” on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at Schwan Concert Hall, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, WI. Tickets are $12, or $9 for seniors and students. Group rates are available. For more information, please visit the band’s website at

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