The Denver Brass announces its 34th season! A series of five new shows, plus a grand finale benefit for the Colorado Freedom Memorial on Memorial Day weekend takes off on Oct. 11 with First Night: Masquerade! This year’s other Denver Brass concerts will take you through Sherwood Forest, a Christmas mystery, dancing horses, a tribute to the late great Jack Fredericksen, and a Celtic Fantasy with a Brass and Brew tossed in. See it all at www.DenverBrass.org.
Submitted by Denver Brass
Just what is First Night you ask? What better title for the opening concert of the Denver Brass’ 2014-2015 season at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 11. It’s hard to believe this Denver treasure is in its 34th season. As is their calling, there is always something new coming from the heads of these talented but somewhat zany people that make up the Denver Brass. The tradition of First Night is rather new, however, and began last season with First Night: A Space Odyssey. The opening season concert is; the “first night” that loyal Denver Brass Fans are able to become reacquainted with one another; the “first night” to hear the newest version of the Denver Brass; the “first night” to welcome newcomers to the Denver Brass scene and; the “first night” to thank donors for their support at a gala donor reception following the concert. The Denver Brass has been cultivating a Denver Brass culture for many years and this concert is another way for audience members to connect with each other and with the amazing Denver Brass musicians. If you have never been to a Denver Brass concert (more of a show than a concert), then you have missed the buzz (pun intended!). Everything the Denver Brass does is thoughtfully created to enhance all of the senses. What happens before, during, at intermission and after the concerts is all part of The Denver Brass culture.
The instrumentation of the 14-piece Denver Brass is unique as are the original compositions and original arrangements that give the Denver Brass a sound spectrum unlike any other brass organization in the world. The array of different size and pitched trumpets one sees on stage for each concert is not only a beautiful sight to behold but watching them quickly go from one to another is worth the price of admission. From the large flugel horn up to the tiny piccolo trumpet, the three trombones who double on euphoniums, two powerhouse French hornists and anchored by the husband and wife team of Denver Brass founders and tubists, Kathy and Chuck Brantigan, it is easy to see and hear how the Denver Brass sounds like the feature music to the “Gates of Heaven.”
This year’s version of the opening concert, First Night: Masquerade!, was conceived from the 18th century Venetian and London concept of party characters mingling in the outdoor gardens with masks and fancy dresses. These masquerades at times invited unseemly behavior and unescorted women. In honor of this elegant tradition, the Denver Brass will wear their fancy stuff and disguise themselves with masks. It is hoped that many DB fans will do the same!
The concert will feature world-renowned concert pianist Steven Mayer performing the entire 30-minute Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg with a new brass accompaniment by bass trombonist, Jeremy Van Hoy. Steven Mayer, one of the astounding artist/faculty at the Lamont School of Music and a Steinway
Artist, is credited with “piano playing at its most awesome” by the New York Times, and has brought his unique repertoire of such jazz icons Art Tatum and Fats Waller, as well as music from Mozart to Liszt to Ives, to thousands of listeners worldwide.
As with most of the Denver Brass concerts, the remaining repertoire will be appropriate to the concert theme but varied in genre, mood and style. Some repertoire to look forward to includes, Three Dance Episodes by Leonard Bernstein, Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me and Fascinating Rhythm.
If you are just getting out of the vacation-mode of summer and looking for a fun, musically rewarding way to begin the fall season, be “first” to jump on First Night: Masquerade! Oct. 11, 7:30. Masks encouraged!
For more information, concert schedule and ticket sales, visit www.DenverBrass.org or call 303-823-HORN (4676).
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