Western Brass Quintet

Scott Thornburg, TrumpetWestern Brass Quintet photograph
Robert White, Trumpet
Lin Baird, Horn
Kip Hickman, Trombone
David Mercedes, Tuba

Founded in 1966, the Western Brass Quintet is one of the most distinguished brass chamber music ensembles still active in the United States today. The ensemble has performed around the world including concert tours in Russia, Thailand, China, Sweden and Germany, as well as concerts in prestigious American venues such as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. The Quintet is a resident faculty ensemble in the School of Music at Western Michigan University.

Following their concerts at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times review raved that "The Western Brass Quintet gave unremitting evidence of their individual talents and ensemble training; chords were precisely weighted and registered, instrumental blends were sensitively arranged, and there was rarely a tentatively attacked or released note." The New York Concert Review describes them as "exhibiting a remarkable flair for the Renaissance style, ...with remarkable facility and technique." Following their recent performance at the 2005 International Trumpet Guild Conference in Bangkok, the published review asserted that "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…"

Committed to promoting the composition of significant works for the brass quintet, the ensemble has premiered and commissioned numerous works including "Concerto for Brass Quintet" and Band by Anthony Plog, "Brass Quintet" by Pierre Jalbert, "A Flying Circus" by David Colson, "Quintessence" by Joseph Turrin, "Landscapes" by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa, "Games for Brass" by Curtis Curtis-Smith, "Frame of Mind" by Richard Adams, "For Then and Now" by Laurence Bitensky, "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. An interest in performance practices for the music of the Renaissance and Baroque has inspired several significant arrangements of music from these periods by Western Brass Quintet members. Three full-length compact discs have been recently recorded by WBQ (mostly premiere recordings) on Summit Records: For Then and Now, Games for Brass, and Songs and Dances. WBQ professionally recorded and released "Shadowcatcher for Brass Quintet and Band" by Eric Ewazen and "Concerto for Brass Quintet" and Band by Anthony Plog with the WMU University Symphonic Band on the Klavier label in 2014.

Music Sample

"Songs and Dances" (MP3)
Arranged by Bob Whaley

Primary Contact

Lin Baird