Empire Brass Gives Masterclass
Presented by the Arts Council of Moore County at Union Pines High School on the morning before their sold-out Classical Concert Series concert on March 17, the Empire Brass gave a masterclass for approximately 300 Moore County band and orchestra students. The students were from New Century Middle School, Pinecrest High School and Union Pines High School.
Led by founding member and trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, The Empire Brass has earned an international reputation as North America's finest brass quintet, renowned for its brilliant virtuosity and an unparalleled diversity of repertoire. The five musicians -- all of whom have held leading positions with major American orchestras -- perform well over 100 concerts a year. Other members of the Empire Brass include Marc Reese on trumpet, Gregory Miller on French horn, Alexei Doohovskoy on trombone, and Kenneth Amis on tuba.
The group opened the masterclass by playing a Tylman Susato's "Basse Dance Bergeret," the opening piece for the evening's concert. Between songs, each member of the quintet took a turn talking about aspects of playing wind instruments, such as the importance of air, effective use of the diaphragm muscle, embouchure control, warming up and practicing, and inspiration in creating music.
In the final 15 minutes of the masterclass, the group invited two students on stage to receive feedback on their playing. Although nervous, Union Pines High School students Seirra Bunnell on trumpet and Clark Lynn on tuba played a little for this impressive group of musicians and in front of an audience of their peers.
Later that evening at the Sunrise Theater, the Empire Brass performed a fitting, final concert for the 2007-08 season of the Classical Concert Series (CCS). CCS is celebrating 25 years of presenting great chamber music in the Sandhills.
For more information on the Classical Concert Series and the upcoming 2008-09 season, please call the Arts Council of Moore County at 910-692-4356 or visit www.artscouncil-moore.org.
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