HESSTON, KAN. – One of the world’s most lauded brass ensembles, St. Louis Brass, will present an iconic Hesston Bethel Performing Arts concert at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.
The ensemble will also present a brass master class at Bethel College, North Newton, in the Luyken Fine Arts Center, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jan. 29. The master class is free and open to the public.
With a 50-year history, St. Louis Brass is one of America’s longest standing brass quintets. The ensemble has a repertoire including contemporary composers to Baroque and Renaissance music, jazz and original compositions.
The members have also been praised as top-notch entertainers. The Kansas City Star said of the group: “[The] quintet adds zaniness to its talents. Diverse material combined with imaginative presentation marked the engaging concert.”
St. Louis Brass was formed in 1964 by members of the St. Louis Symphony to play local children’s concerts. They quickly grew to playing full-length concerts across the country.
The ensemble was praised by the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Press-Gazette as “a delightfully varied program and five extraordinary brass players.”
The quintet features two trumpets, French horn, trombone and tuba and averages 40 engagements per year. More than 75 pieces have been written or arranged specifically for them.
St. Louis Brass’ members all have extensive experience in music performance and education, and hold top positions across the United States.
Current members are Allan Dean, professor of music at Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut; Ray Sasaki, professor of music at the University of Texas at Austin; Thomas Bacon, a soloist and recording artist; Melvyn Jernigan, executive director of Primo Concerts management company and a recording and television producer; and Daniel Perantoni, professor of music at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Reserved seating and general admission tickets for St. Louis Brass are available through the HBPA website or by calling 620-327-8158. Ticket prices range from $17 to $20 with discounts available for students and senior citizens.
Two events remain in the 2014-15 HBPA season – The King’s Singers, Feb. 23 in Hesston College’s Yost Center, and Trio Voronezh, April 15 at Hesston Mennonite Church.
The HBPA St. Louis Brass concert is supported in part by an award from Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. HBPA is also funded in part by the cities of Hesston and North Newton, Excel Industries and Hustler Turf Equipment (Hesston), the Hesston Community Foundation, the North Newton Community Foundation, Hesston AmericInn, other area businesses and patrons, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the NEA itself.
The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series, now in its 33rd year, is a collaborative effort of Hesston College and Bethel College, presenting five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed artists each year.