Sunday, February 1, 2015

Concert Preview - Milwaukee Festivall Brass 30th Anniversary

I was surprised when I heard that 2015 is the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Milwaukee Festival Brass.  It just does not seem that long.  I remember attending wonderful concerts by the Milwaukee British Brass Band, the original name for the group.  The founding director, Wayne Becker, absolutely loved the sound of the brass band, and wanted to bring that sound to everyone in Milwaukee.  His legacy lives on and will be celebrated on Sunday February 22nd at the Performing Arts Center in Pius XI High School, on 76th Street just a few blocks north of I-94.  The concert begins at 3 PM.

Here is a great summary of the concert from Music Director Marc Taylor:

The gala will open with a work that was performed at the band’s inaugural concert, Edward Gregson’s iconic Prelude for an Occasion.  The program also includes a duet performance by two founding members of the Milwaukee Festival Brass who are still members today, Rita Ammon and Terry Neesley.  In honor of the band’s Pearl Anniversary, euphoniumists David Meyer and Deb Gilbert will perform a version of the transcendent duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers: “Deep Inside the Sacred Temple.” 

The anniversary concert will bring back former players and conductors of the band as well.  Former music director Trefor Williams will lead the band in a Goff Richards arrangement, and former music director Patricia Backhaus will be a featured cornet soloist on the program.  Alumni of the Milwaukee Festival Brass will be invited onto the stage to join the current band in two joint selections.

The band will also preview the repertoire to be performed at the annual North American Brass Band Championships, which will be held in March in Fort Wayne, IN.

The Milwaukee Festival Brass will present its Gala “Pearl Anniversary” Concert on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Father Robert V. Carney Performing Arts Center, Pius XI High School, 135 North 76th Street, Milwaukee, WI.  Tickets are $12, or $9 for seniors and students.  Group rates are available.  For more information, please visit the band’s website.

I will be there and I hope you will be as well!

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