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Boston Brass to give clinic at Bethel, HBPA concert in Hesston

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HESSTON, KAN. – Boston Brass, a world-renowned brass quintet, will give the final concert of the 2007-08 Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts (HBPA) season Thursday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

Boston Brass plays a broad range of styles, from exciting classical arrangements to breathtaking vocal harmony to burning jazz standards. Ensemble members’ interactions with each other and their audiences are lively and humorous, with touches of personality, bridging the breadth of classical formality to delight their audiences with an evening of boisterous fun.

The concert will feature works by Shostakovich, Ginastera, Dvorak, Liszt, Porter, Gillespie, Ellington and others. “It’s not the traditional literature for a brass quintet,” says Jeff Conner, trumpet, the last remaining Boston Brass charter member. “When most people hear ‘brass,’ they expect Baroque or Dixieland, but we’re eager to try things that no one has tried before. And we have a lot of fun doing it – we love to play!”

The goal of the group is to share this love with its audience – and to entertain them. “We get them involved,” Conner adds. “We want this to be the finest musical experience they will ever have, no matter whether we’re playing the classics, contemporary music or jazz. We’re proud of our versatility.”

Many of the selections were arranged by the group’s French horn player, J.D. Shaw. Shaw spent his growing up years in Wichita, playing in high school bands and with the Wichita Youth Symphony and the Sky Ryders Drum and Bugle Corps before earning a degree at Wichita State University.

Other group members include Lance LaDuke, trombone and euphonium, Jose Sibaja, trumpet, and Andrew Hitz, tuba.

HBPA chair Matt Schloneger looks forward to a lively concert. “We’re excited to round out our 2007-08 season with this wonderfully varied program of great brass music,” he says. “HBPA is also very pleased that the members of the group have agreed to share their expertise with our students and will conduct a free public brass clinic at Bethel College the day of the concert.” The clinic will take place in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center at 11 a.m.

The group has performed at jazz festivals around the world and conducted master classes at colleges and universities across the country. Boston Brass has led clinics and performed concerts at national and regional music educators conferences and helped raise more than $100,000 for VH1’s Save the Music program, giving musical instruments to schools in need.

The group has recorded several albums including Stealing the Show, a collection of overtures and arias; Young Fogeys, a collage of jazz and swing favorites; and Out of This World, featuring heroic music for brass and organ. Boston Brass records on the Summit Records label.

This presentation is supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Arts Commission and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Tickets are $14 to $17 with discounts available for students and senior citizens. Call 620-327-8158 or 316-284-5205 to reserve or purchase tickets.

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