American Brass Quintet to perform on campus

It has been 50 years since the American Brass Quintet assembled and began performing chamber music worldwide, and now it will perform on campus with the TCU Wind Symphony.

The ABQ will be at the university Monday through Thursday and will teach lectures and master classes, as well as have two public performances.

Sophomore music and math double major Joellen Carr said, “[The ABQ] are genuinely nice people. Not only are they extremely talented, they are also really personable, and you can tell they really care about what they do.”

Carr is also a member of the Wind Symphony, which received the opportunity to play with the ABQ in February at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

“That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Carr said. “It’s an experience that hardly anyone else can say that they’ve done.”

David Begnoche, an assistant professor of trombone, said the ABQ will not only perform with the Wind Symphony again, but will also coach members of the band and teach them through lectures and classes. Classes will consist of personal interaction with the ABQ as its members coach students on ways to improve their skills in music, Begnoche said.

Master classes will be open to all students and lectures will be given for students of the music department.

According to the American Brass Quintet pamphlet, five brass players founded the group when they got together, began performing serious chamber music and began encouraging development of brass quintet compositions. The ABQ has since changed the landscape of brass playing and particularly chamber music, according to the pamphlet.

The ABQ regularly works with numerous students worldwide and specifically with students at The Juilliard School in New York, where it has been a resident ensemble since 1987. Its members teach and host lessons and lectures there year-round. The lectures range in material from the music business, travel and recording to issues they’ve personally experienced, Begnoche said.

Director of Bands Bobby Francis said the quintet’s members are some of the best in the world. He said that after Begnoche submitted the ABQ as a candidate to come to TCU through the Cecil H. and Ida Green Honor Chair program, the ABQ was selected to present and train students in a four-day mini-residency.

According to the Cecil H. and Ida Green Honors Chair program guidelines, the purpose of the program is to bring distinguished scholars to TCU for short visits. Each school is only eligible once every three years.

Begnoche said it was a special time to have the group on campus and that the group was celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Begnoche was coached by ABQ as a student at the summer Aspen Music Festival, an internationally-renowned classical music festival, where the group resides during summer months, training students and working with composers, Begnoche said.

The TCU Wind Symphony will also record a piece composed by American composer Tony Plog with the quintet. The composition will appear on the next Wind Symphony CD featuring the American Brass Quintet as soloists, Begnoche said.

Members of the ABQ are Kevin Cobb, Raymond Mase, David Wakefield, Michael Powell and John D. Rojak.

The American Brass Quintet

Guest artist recital

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: PepsiCo Recital Hall

Performance with the TCU Wind Symphony

When: Thursday at 7 p.m.

Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium

Both performances are free and open to the public.