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Houston Brass Band takes stage with faculty at SHSU

Contributing Reporter

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 22:02

Houston Brass Band

Sean Smith | The Houstonian

Director Robert Walp and The Houston Brass Band performed at the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Music students took a break from performing this weekend as their professors stepped into the spotlight with Houston’s own all-brass ensemble.

The Houston Brass Band joined Peggy DeMers, Ph.D., and Professor of Trumpet Randy Adams in concert at the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Saturday.

The unique performance brought together some of the university’s finest music professors with one of Houston’s premier musical ensembles. The band is a British style brass band, which is a popular style all over Europe.

Brass bands use a wide variety of instruments, including cornets and flugelhorns, tenor horns, euphoniums, trombones and tubas and most horns are imported from Great Britain and Europe.  Percussion sections often accompany these bands as well.

Brass Bands also play a variety of British, European and American band music, along with American popular and orchestral transcriptions. Parts normally played by strings or woodwinds are played on the soprano instruments in the band creating a very different sound from traditional orchestras and wind ensembles.

Houston Brass Band director Robert Walp is no stranger to the university, according to Adams.

“Robert Walp is a trumpet player in the Houston Symphony and a longtime friend of mine,” he said. “Walp has worked with the members of the SHSU Trumpet Studio over the years and has presented a master class here for our trumpet students.”

Ensembles like the Houston Brass Band allow for more intimate performances that bring the music community together, Adams said.

“I enjoy performing for my students and the community.  It’s a thrill to get to play music and a pleasure to get to share it with people so close to me,” Adams said.

 

Adams said the concert is something special and different from most events in the Performing Arts Center with the band bringing together professional musicians with people who work outside of their passion for music.

Students enjoyed seeing their professors play with the top musicians in the area and often find inspiration in these performances, including sophomore music education major Michael Garcia.

“The professors are all gifted and I always enjoy concerts here at [SHSU,]” he said. “I feel the urge to practice after almost every concert.”

Senior music education major Alex Harrison said he sees the influence of faculty performances impact fellow students.

“Anytime I’ve heard Mr. Adams play has been fantastic and his students reflect his high caliber of teaching and performance,”Harrison said.

Adams also joined Brass Band Director Robert Walp and SHSU Professor of Horn Peggy DeMers, Ph.D., in playing an alphorn trio. Adams also performed a cornet solo and on an instrument most people do not associate with music —the handsaw.

The Houston Brass Band is a non-profit organization and for more information the group visit www.houstonbrassband.org.

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