Painting by Kelly Posey
OBERLIN, OHIO (November 6, 2008) — The Annapolis Brass Quintet, the first independent, full-time performing brass chamber ensemble in the United States, has donated its entire collection of published music scores and parts, music manuscripts, and related correspondence—more than 1,000 individual items—to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
In announcing the gift, Dean of the Conservatory David H. Stull, himself a brass player, says: “This donation by the Annapolis Brass Quintet establishes at Oberlin one of the largest and certainly one of the most extensive brass chamber music collections in the United States. Our students in the brass department will now be able to access and engage not only a phenomenal range of works in the traditional canon, but also many works commissioned by the ensemble. The Annapolis Brass Quintet made an enormous contribution to the literature of brass chamber music, and Oberlin is honored to be the beneficiary of that tremendous work.”
To celebrate the gift of this rich repertoire to Oberlin, the Conservatory is sponsoring a free, public concert on Sunday, November 16, at 1 p.m. in Warner Concert Hall. Student and faculty ensembles and guest artists the Tower Brass Quintet will present a program featuring highlights from the Annapolis’ collection. Past and present members of the ensemble will be guests of honor, and during the celebratory weekend of the concert they will coach student brass chamber ensembles and observe rehearsals.
Throughout its distinguished 22-year career (the Annapolis Brass Quintet was founded in 1971 and disbanded in 1993) the ensemble presented 75 world premieres representing works by such composers as Robert Hall Lewis, Lawrence Moss, Robert Starer, and Pulitzer Prize-winner George Walker ’41. All of the ensemble’s solicited and commissioned scores, as well as a large number of unpublished manuscripts—some of which may be the only copies in existence—are included in the gift to Oberlin.
“Choosing a home for the library was one of the most difficult decisions the quintet had to make when it closed down,” says founding member Robert Posten, a bass trombonist and tubist. Posten says making the library easily accessible to the greatest population of brass players and scholars, and selecting an institution that would manage and care for the collection for the benefit of future generations, were the considerations that guided the ensemble’s search for a permanent home for the collection.
“Dean Stull has been at the center of all the plans to house the library at Oberlin; he has been the very soul of creativity and enthusiasm,” says Posten. “The final decision, however, hinged on our belief that there was a real commonality of purpose between the institutional goals of Oberlin and our vision of a home for the Annapolis Brass Quintet library.”
According to Deborah Campana, Conservatory Librarian, a special exhibit of manuscripts from the collection will be on display during the celebration weekend. “The Conservatory Library’s cataloging and preparations staff members are working diligently to make the collection available to the public soon,” says Campana.
About the Annapolis Brass Quintet
In addition to its 75 world premieres, other career highlights of the Annapolis Brass Quintet include 15 recordings; performances in all 50 states and throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Central America, and Canada; and, in 1980, the establishment of the International Brass Quintet Festival, the first festival of its kind and one of the most important summer cultural events in the Eastern United States. The Annapolis Brass Quintet was also dedicated to educational outreach; they conducted annual brass music workshops for high school students and adults across the country and introduced brass chamber music to elementary school children.
The ensemble’s international reputation for excellence in the presentation of brass chamber music was codified in the U.S. Congressional Record when U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski congratulated them on the floor of the U.S. Senate on April 27, 1993, two days after their final performance. She recognized them for the contributions that it made to brass chamber music, noting that the ensemble “entertained people around the world and has positively influenced the development of its genre. Its members have achieved a truly high standard of artistic excellence and, together, represent what is best in American music.”
The quintet was the exclusive performance vehicle and sole means of support for each of its musicians, and that was the premise upon which it was founded by David Cran (trumpet), Robert Posten (bass trombone and tuba), John Driver (trombone), Rick Rightnour (horn), and Haldon “Butch” Johnson (trumpet). They believed that by totally dedicating their careers in music to the performance of brass chamber music, they could make a significant contribution to the medium. Two of the founding members, Cran and Posten, remained with the ensemble until 1993, having been joined by Wayne Wells (trombone), Sharon Tiebert Maddox (horn), and Robert Suggs (trumpet).
About the Oberlin Conservatory of Music
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865 and situated amid the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College since 1867, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. Renowned internationally as a professional music school of the highest caliber and pronounced a “national treasure” by the Washington Post, Oberlin’s alumni have gone on to achieve illustrious careers in all aspects of the serious music world. Many of them have attained stature as solo performers, composers, and conductors, among them Jennifer Koh, Steven Isserlis, Denyce Graves, Franco Farina, Christopher Robertson, Lisa Saffer, George Walker, Christopher Rouse, Huang Ruo, David Zinman, and Robert Spano. All of the members of the contemporary sextet eighth blackbird, most of the members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, and many of the members of Apollo’s Fire are Oberlin alumni. The Miró, Pacifica, Juilliard, and Fry Street quartets, among other chamber ensembles, include Oberlin-trained musicians, as do major orchestras and opera companies throughout the world. For more information about Oberlin, visit www.oberlin.edu/con.
Sunday, November 16, 2009, 1 PM
Annapolis Brass Quintet Celebration Concert
The Tower Brass Quintet
Bibbins Brass Quintet
Espionage Brass Quintet
Faculty and Student Ensemble:
The Oberlin Brass Ensemble
James DeSano, Director
Featuring Roy Poper, Roland Pandolfi, and Ron Bishop
Elam Sprenkle Three Sketches on a Southern Hymn Tune
Giovanni Gabrieli Sonata Octavi Toni (ed. Robert King)
Paul Dukas Fanfare from La Péri
J.S. Bach Contrapunctus I (arr. Robert King)
J.S. Bach Contrapunctus IX (arr. Richard Fote)
Anthony Holborne Five Pieces (ed. Robert King)
Samuel Scheidt Suite for Brass Quintet (arr. Philip Jones)
Robert Starer Annapolis Suite for Brass Quintet and Harp
Warner Concert Hall
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
77 West College Street
*Program and artists are subject to change.
Media Contact Only:
Marci Janas, Director of Conservatory Communications
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
440-775-8328 (office); 440-667-2724 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org