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Western Brass Quintet celebrates 40th anniversary

Feb. 7, 2006

KALAMAZOO--The Western Brass Quintet celebrates its 40th anniversary with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University.

The concert kicks off the ensemble's 40th anniversary celebration national tour. Other highlights of the anniversary celebration include release of a retrospective CD and performance of a new work commissioned for the anniversary.

Tickets for the Feb. 12 concert are available through the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door. Tickets are $10 each, and $5 each for students and senior citizens.

Repertoire for the Feb. 12 performance will include the world premiere of a new work by WMU faculty composer Richard Adams. The quintet will introduce its newest member, Deanna Swoboda, tuba professor at WMU and former tubist with the Dallas Brass. Veteran members of the quintet are Scott Thornburg, trumpet; Stephen Jones, trumpet; Lin Foulk, horn; and Dan Mattson, trombone.

The Western Brass Quintet is a resident faculty ensemble in the WMU School of Music. Founded by Donald P. Bullock in 1966, the quintet performs regularly throughout the region and internationally, presenting formal recitals and clinics in schools. The ensemble's annual "A Brass Celebration of Christmas" is among the more popular Kalamazoo-area holiday concerts, playing typically to sold out, standing room only audiences.

The ensemble has an excellent international reputation as performers and particularly as promoters of new works for the genre. The WBQ performed at the 2005 conference of the International Trumpet Guild in Thailand. A review of that concert stated, "The Western Brass Quintet is not just another 'academic' brass chamber ensemble; their performance was equal to that of any professional brass quintet. This is a superb group..."

The brass quintet is a relatively new chamber music genre, dating from the 1950s. Reaching a 40th anniversary for any chamber music group is a momentous occasion, and the WBQ is among the longest lived brass ensembles in North America. Notable achievements for the WBQ include performances at the Kennedy Center; two at Carnegie Recital Hall; four International Trumpet Guild Conferences; the International Horn Society Workshop; the International Trombone Workshop; the TUBA Convention; tours to the People's Republic of China, Russia, Sweden, Thailand and Germany; seven recordings; and concerts at more than 100 American universities.

The Western Brass Quintet offers a variety of classical programs ranging from Bach to Bernstein. Committed to promoting the composition of significant works for the brass quintet, the ensemble has premiered numerous works including "Masques" by Ramon Zupko, "Nodding Music" by Elgar Howarth, "Plays and Rimes" by Curtis Curtis-Smith, "Pro and Contra Dances" by Ramon Zupko, "Vox Naturae" with orchestra by Ramon Zupko, "Dark Matters" by Mark Schultz, "Games for Brass" by Curtis Curtis-Smith, and "Landscapes" by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa.

The Western Brass Quintet concert at the Dalton Center is sponsored by the Donald P. Bullock Music Performance Institute of the WMU School of Music. Visit the Web for information about other programs sponsored by the Bullock Institute, www.wmich.edu/mus_bpi.

Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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