‘A Canadian Brass Christmas’ Comes to Center for the Arts

Posted: December 10, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: December 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Canadian Brass. Photo by Robyn McCallum

Canadian Brass. Photo by Robyn McCallum

The Canadian Brass quintet combines virtuosity and showmanship with a playful sense of humor. Now heading into its 38th season, Canadian Brass returns to Mason’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m.

The group, which hails from Toronto, will bring with it a festive and versatile holiday program called “A Canadian Brass Christmas.” The program features classical music, traditional Christmas carols, Hanukkah songs and jazzy renditions of popular seasonal songs.

Founders Gene Watts on trombone and Charles “Chuck” Daellenbach on tuba are joined by Jeff Nelsen on horn and Brandon Ridenour and Chris Coletti on trumpet.

With almost 100 performances a year, Canadian Brass spends most of its time touring and performing with symphony orchestras worldwide. In addition to the group’s tremendous versatility and gifted musicianship, audiences love their quirky senses of humor, frequently drawing comparisons to the Marx Brothers and the early Beatles.

Canadian Brass, which has a special affinity for Baroque music, has produced more than 60 recordings, including works from Purcell, Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Pachelbel, Beethoven and Wagner.

The quintet released its newest holiday album, “Christmas Tradition,” which recently landed in the eighth position on the Billboard Holiday Album Chart. Another recent CD, “Echo – Glory of Gabrieli,” has also received rave reviews.

Canadian Brass has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “The Today Show” and “Entertainment Tonight.” The group has also performed as guest artists on “Evening at Pops” with John Williams and the Boston Pops, Beverly Sills’ Music Around the World, and numerous other PBS specials. The Canadian Government has also invited the quintet to perform for visiting heads of state on numerous occasions.

Dedicated to training the next generation of brass musicians, Canadian Brass frequently teaches master classes while on tour. They are the chamber quintet-in-residence at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif., and have created an innovative brass summer course at the famous Eastman School of Music.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Tickets are $48, $40 and $24; tickets for youth through grade 12 are half price when the child is accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

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