Brazen Brass 5, which debuted last fall as an Ensemble-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, has been named winner of the 2014 Aspen Music Festival brass quintet fellowship.
“The Aspen festival has long been among the most elite music festivals in the world,” said Sam Holland, director of the Division of Music at the Meadows School. “Getting in is really tough. Getting a fellowship is extraordinary. It’s a great testament to their talent and hard work, and to the increasing quality of our chamber music program under the leadership of Matt Albert.”
The group includes five SMU students and alumni: senior music major Brandon Wright (tuba); trombonist DJ Taylor (M.M. ’14); horn player Kirstin Schularick (M.M. ’13); trumpeter Dylan Smith (M.M. ’13); and trumpet player David Sterrett (B.M. ’10).
They were selected for the honor after auditioning for the American Brass Quintet (ABQ), which is internationally recognized as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles and has been in residence at the Aspen Music Festival since 1970. Last year, Brazen Brass 5 was named runner-up in the Aspen fellowship competition; this year, the ABQ said, “We were happy to hear your group again” and praised Brazen Brass for its recording, repertoire and for sounding “unified and polished.”
The Aspen festival runs from June 26 through August 17. Brazen Brass 5 will both study and perform with the American Brass Quintet, and will give recitals on its own. In addition, Brazen Brass 5 members will perform individually with several of the orchestras at Aspen.
“Receiving the fellowship this year was especially exciting since we had been runner up last year,” said Kirstin Schularick. “We’ve been working hard ever since, and it paid off. We are thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to perform at one of the world’s top music festivals and to study with the distinguished American Brass Quintet.”
Since the group’s formation in January 2012, Brazen Brass 5 has given several community concerts and performed extensively at SMU. In addition, the quintet has participated in various coaching sessions, workshops and master classes with leading orchestral and chamber musicians, including Grammy-winning violinist Matt Albert, current director of chamber music and new music ensemble SYZYGY at SMU Meadows; John Kitzman, principal trombone of the Dallas Symphony and the Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet; and Ryan Anthony, principal trumpet of the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet and former member of the Canadian Brass and Center City Brass Quartet.
At SMU, the quintet gives two performances a year, one each semester. The spring performance will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, in Caruth Auditorium, located inside the Owen Arts Center at 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus; admission is free and no tickets are required.
In addition, the group will perform as part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet concert at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 24 in Caruth Auditorium. Tickets for the DSO Brass Quintet concert are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for students and SMU faculty & staff. For tickets or more information, call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214.768.2787.
For more information about Brazen Brass 5, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brazen-Brass-5/307265289373022.
About the Aspen Music Festival and School
Now in its 65th season, the Aspen Music Festival and School is the United States’ premier classical music festival, presenting more than 300 musical events during its eight-week summer season in Aspen. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world to its Colorado mountain retreat for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. Many events are free.
More than 630 music students from more than 40 U.S. states and more than 49 countries come each summer to play in five orchestras, sing, conduct, compose and study with approximately 130 renowned artist-faculty members. Students represent the field’s best talent; many have already begun their professional careers, others are on the cusp.
For more information, visit www.aspenmusicfestival.com