National Brass Ensemble Project

Janos Gereben on May 27, 2014
Trombonist Timothy Higgins
Trombonist Timothy Higgins

S.F. Conservatory Music (SFCM), Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Sonoma State University's Green Music Center have joined to launch the National Brass Ensemble Project and introduce the National Brass Ensemble in the Bay Area, June 9-14.

In an unusual combination, the 1597 antiphonal music of Giovanni Gabrieli and a commission from John Williams will headline a concert on June 12, in Weill Hall. Gabrieli's Sacrae symphoniae is arranged by San Francisco Symphony principal trombonist and SFCM faculty member Tim Higgins.

A commercial recording of Gabrieli's Sacrae symphoniae and the Williams commission at Skywalker Sound will follow.

The Ensemble consists of 24 brass players and two percussionists from symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The project will expand to an annual San Francisco Bay Area residency to combine teaching and performances by the nation's foremost brass players.

SFCM President David H. Stull described the event as:

A project years in the making, the inaugural concert and recording of the National Brass Ensemble is not only an extraordinary achievement in its own right but an opportunity both for our students and for the world beyond to experience brass playing at the very highest level.

I am honored to have these musicians with us, and I look forward to developing an ongoing relationship with the National Brass Ensemble in an annual residency offering outstanding brass instruction and world-class performances in the San Francisco Bay Area."

Besides Higgins, Mark Inouye and Robert Ward are also both Conservatory faculty members and principal players with the S.F. Symphony.

Among other Ensemble members: Joseph Alessi, principal trombone, New York Philharmonic; David Bilger, principal trumpet, Philadelphia Orchestra; Nitzan Haroz, principal trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic; Richard King, principal horn, Cleveland Orchestra; Chris Martin, principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony; and Philip Smith, principal trumpet, New York Philharmonic.

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