The end of the season has been an exciting series of events for the band. Once back from spring break, the band launched into several weeks of intensive rehearsals, as they prepared for the 2013 North American Brass Band Championships. The band placed well after solid performances of the set work, Ellerby's Elgar Variations, and their own choice selection, Peter Graham's Montage.
On returning home from the championships, the band spent the final two weeks of the semester rehearsing for the last concert of the season. As usual, this performance was also the time to say thank you and goodbye to those students graduating or going on to student teaching - Elizabeth Taylor, cornet; Kaitlin Kenepp, solo horn; Leland Matsumura, trombone; Kevin LaPoint, Bb Bass and Liz Wood, percussion.
The semester concluded with the band's annual awards dinner at Ell Charro. Those recognized for the 2012-2013 season were: Most Improved Player - Alec Moser, soprano cornet; Newbie of the Year - Kyle Remnant, solo trombone; Outstanding Section Member - Nathan Gredler, euphonium; Outstanding Principal Player - Tim Guidry, solo cornet; Outstanding Section - baritone/euphonium; Director's Award - Joel Collier, principal euphonium; Bandsman of the Year - Elizabeth Taylor.
On Friday, February 22, JMU Brass Band was fortunate to feature British euphonium virtuoso Steven Mead.
Mead has a reputation around the world as one of the leading euphonium soloists, clinicians, and teachers and tours extensively giving recitals, masterclasses, lessons, and concert appearances.
JMU was one of the last stops on Mead's North American tour which stretched from Atlanta to Canada with many stops between. Each stop lasted only a day or two before packing up and moving to the next location and next set of performances.
Mead arrived at JMU on Thursday and had a rehearsal with the Brass Band that night. From the first few notes of the rehearsal we knew we were in for something special. The rehearsal was quite fun and certainly insightful to hear the way he approached each of the pieces he would be performing.
On Friday the day began with a masterclass. Mead lead off the class with a brief introduction of who he is and what he does before he transitioned into working with the student soloists. Three JMU students, one high school student, and one lucky young 8th grade student were featured in the masterclass. Each one performed their solo and then received instruction from Mead, who's high energy and quick wit kept the class fun and engaging. He encouraged and engaged not only each of the soloists but each person who was able to attend.
The evening concert was an exciting event for sure, with nearly a sold-out audience in attendance. After two selections from the band, Mead took the stage to perform Vladimir Cosma's Euphonium Concerto. The performance was exhilarating and the audience's standing ovation proved just how much they appreciated Mead's stellar performance of a wonderful piece.
The second half saw Mead featured on three more traditional solos; Beautiful Colorado, Be My Love, and Napoli. Each piece showcased a different facet of his tremendous talent and sense of musicality. Being in every way the consummate performer, Mead brought his own sense of flair to the second half, from his impressive cadenzas to his creative interaction with the conductor and even his custom shirt looked like it was on fire.
It was a tremendous concert with Steven Mead and was certainly a wonderful and memorable way to conclude his all too brief visit to JMU.
The band is looking forward to featuring international euphonium virtuoso Steven Mead on our upcoming concert. One of the very first guest soloists to perform with the band nearly 10 years ago, it will be a pleasure to welcome him back to JMU once again. Mead will be performing Vladimir Cosma's Euphonium Concerto, as well as Beautiful Colorado by Joseph de Luca, Napoli by Herman Bellstedt and a solo made famous by Mario Lanza - Be My Love. In addition to his performance with the band, he will also be presenting a master class for JMU music students. Other works featured on the concert include Canterbury Chorale by Jan Van der Roost and Coventry Variations by Bramwell Tovey. Tickets are available from the Forbes Center box office.
JMU Brass Band with guest soloist, Steven Mead
Friday, February 22 at 8:00 pm
Forbes Center for the Performing Arts
Steven Mead Master Class
Friday, February 22, 12:20-2:15 pm
Forbes Center for the Peforming Arts
The band's Spring 2013 auditions will take place on Monday, January 7 and Tuesday, January 8. The required audition pieces are available on this site.
The band enjoyed a very special evening of music making with euphonium soloist, Demondrae Thurman. Performing to an enthusiastic crowd, the band accompanied the soloist on Derek Bourgeois's Trombone Concerto, as well as a new work by Anthony Barfield entitled Meditations. In addition to the two solos, the band performed Festmusik der Stadt Wien by Richard Strauss, Resurgam by Eric Ball, Elgar Variations by Martin Ellerby and Peter Graham's Gaelforce. The band received an standing ovation at the conclusion of the evening's performance.
The band's final concert of the semester will feature euphonium virtuoso, Demondrae Thurman, Professor of Euphonium and Tuba at the University of Alabama. Thurman will be performing Derek Bourgeois' Concerto for Trombone, as well as Meditations by Anthony Barfield. In addition to his performance with the band, he will be presenting a master class for JMU music students. Other works featured on the concert include Resurgam by Eric Ball, Elgar Variations by Martin Ellerby, Strauss' Festmusik der Stadt Wien and Gaelforce by Peter Graham. Tickets are available from the Forbes Center box office.
JMU Brass Band • Saturday, December 8 at 8:00 pm
Forbes Center for the Performing Arts
The band's 2012-2013 concert season is set to begin with two performances in October. The first will be as part of the annual JMU Family Weekend Pops Concert on October 6th, when the band will be performing Peter Graham's entertaining Call of the Cossacks. Following less than a week later, the band will be presenting their first full concert of the year on October 12th. The performance will feature two major works of the brass band repertoire: Peter Graham's Montage and Paganini Variations by Philip Wilby. Also featured on the concert will be two transcriptions by American composer James Curnow, as well as the band's principal euphonium player, Joel Collier, performing Karl Jenkins' Benedictus from The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. Tickets for both events are available from the Forbes Center box office.
JMU Brass Band