Sunday June 2 , 2013, 2 pm: THE KOOTENAY BRASS QUINTET at Kimberley United Church, Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students, available at the door or online at www.kootenaybrasskimberley.eventbrite.ca. For more information, contact Laurel at 250-427-3050.
“After years of talking about it, longtime Symphony of the Kootenays colleagues Laurel Ralston (Trumpet), Tim Bullen (Trumpet), Keith Todd (Trombone), Arnie Satanove (French Horn), and Robin Clegg (Tuba) finally got together in August 2012 to form the Kootenay Brass Quintet. The first rehearsal was so much fun that they decided not to let distance get in their way – Laurel lives in Kimberley and the rest of the gang in Nelson – in their quest to play and perform jewels from the brass quintet repertoire. The group made their debut in November 2012 in Castlegar as part of the Kootenay Gallery Concert Series and in Nelson through Selkirk Pro-Musica. The Kootenay Brass Quintet now brings their signature sparkling sound to the East Kootenay for an early summer tour featuring everything from Renaissance to rock.”
I’m getting old (aren’t we all) and it seems that everything of note these days sends me into a spiral of nostalgia. Case in point is the Kootenay Brass Quintet on Sunday. This music took me back to when I first arrived in Canada and spent time in Smithers B.C. There I met a group of Dutch Canadians (or is it Canadian Dutch) who were fanatical about brass band music. They introduced me to the music of the British Colliery bands of the pre-Thatcher days. So, along with Bagpipe music, I have a soft spot for music that transcends the popular fashions of the day and digs deeper into wellspring of our cultural roots. So the setting in the Alliance Church, with the light streaming in through the windows, and the fine acoustic environment was perfect for an afternoon of fine music for Brass played by the Kootenay Brass Quintet. There was smatterings of British Music with offerings from Ralph Vaughan Williams that illustrated his his fascination with English Folk music. There were some Swiss tunes that included some humorous forays by Robin Clegg on Tuba (The Cuckoo), music by Gustav Holst, music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story (Maria – a Tango & the love duet Tonight ), a couple of Cannons including a little dip into Led Zeplin’s treatment of the Pachenbel Cannon. Brass Band music has associations with marching and this was ably taken care in a Spanish March with an un-spellable (is that a word) title. The mandatory Canadian content was there with A Newfoundland Sketch. A full step away from music written for brass, and one that sounded so right, was Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer. Included in the program was some technical insights into the playing of Brass instruments and the plumber`s nightmare of all that brass tubing. In comparison string players have it easy. I can`t think of a better way to spend a pleasant Spring afternoon than listening to the Kootenay Brass Quintet. My only regret was fueled by a sense of guilt in having missed the Sonatina Sunday in Cranbrook. It was was scheduled for the same time in the Cranbrook Knox Presbyterian Church in Cranbrook.
Now, here`s a thought. The members of the Kootensy Brass Quintet are an integral part of the Symphony of the Kootenays. It would be nice to see them step out from behind the strings in a Symphony concert and do a ensemble piece as a quintet in front of the orchestra. After all, in a bygone day and in a different genre, Benny Goodman used to showcase his trio, quartet and sextet with his big band. So why not break some new symphonic ground and add variety to a Symphony concert?