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American Brass Quintet will bring its unique blend of Renaissance, classical, and contemporary music to Lafayette College’s Williams Center for the Arts 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 30.

Selections for the Lafayette concert include two Suites of Dances and Canzons from the Renaissance, arranged for brass quintet by trumpeter Raymond Mase: one by 17th century English composer William Brade, and one by 15th century Flemish composer Josquin Desprez. Three 20th century masterworks, all commissioned and premiered by American Brass Quintet, are also included: Quinteto Concertante by Argentine composer Osvaldo Lacerda, Frost Fire by Eric Ewazen, and David Sampson’s Quintet 99, a work created just last summer for the 50th anniversary of the Aspen Music Festival. A set of “Contrapuncti” from J.S. Bach’s Art of the Fugue and Mase’s arrangements of “Salon Brass” suites from 19th century America complete the program.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased by calling the Williams Center box office at 610-330-5009.

The members of the ensemble are Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb, trumpets; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, tenor trombone; and John Rojak, bass trombone.

Praise has been widespread for the performances and recordings of American Brass Quintet, dubbed “The High Priests of Brass” by Newsweek and the “Rolls Royce of brass quintets” by the Baltimore Sun. A New York Times review of a quintet concert called it “a spectacular demonstration of ensemble virtuosity,” while Germany’s Badische Zeitung has noted that “the bravura of their solo playing multiplies itself by the super bravura of their ensemble playing.”

Since its debut in 1960, American Brass Quintet has put brass chamber music on the map for contemporary concert audiences. It has performed in all 50 states in virtually every major concert hall. In addition to annual appearances at the Aspen Music Festival, the quintet has performed at major festivals such as Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music at Gretna. Its foreign touring has taken the group throughout Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. The ensemble remains the only brass quintet ever to appear on the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” series.

By the end of the 1999-2000 season, American Brass Quintet will have made nearly 50 recordings on over 15 labels, representing the largest body of serious brass chamber music ever produced by one ensemble. In addition, the group’s commissioning project has resulted in over 100 works for brass quintet, many of which are considered some of the most substantial additions to the repertoire. These commissions, along with the quintet’s own editions of Renaissance and Baroque music, and premieres of forgotten 19th century brass repertoire, have firmly established the ensemble’s commitment to the ever growing field of brass chamber music.

American Brass Quintet has administered the brass chamber music program at The Juilliard School since the program’s inception in 1987, as well as teaching individual students. Since 1970, the quintet has administered the brass chamber music program at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer.

The 1999-2000 Performance Series at Lafayette College is sponsored, in part, by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts.

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