The place to be

Boston Brass, world-renowned musicians and recording artists, have performed concerts and taught master classes during a weeklong camp ending Saturday.

Courtesy photo

The Boston Brass — a world-renowned chamber music quintet — spent the week at the University of Wyoming hosting a summer intensive for collegiate and professional-level musicians of trumpet, trombone, tuba and horn.

The week will end with a couple of concerts — one free and the other ridiculously underpriced, said Scott Meredith, UW professor of trumpet.

“They’re the best brass quintet working right now,” Meredith said. “I’ll just go ahead and say it. I think they are.”

An aspiring trumpet musician might think of Nashville, Tennessee, or New Orleans as the place to be for honing their skills and connecting with the greats.

But this week, the greats were all in Laramie, and the state’s only university city was certainly the place to be, Meredith said.

“It’s the big, epicenter of brass music in the world right now, happening right here in Laramie, Wyoming,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. I get to geek out a little bit.”

Participants in the summer intensive — a group that includes musicians from across the country — spent the week practicing instrument fundamentals, soaking up information on career development, auditions and entrepreneurism and networking with professional and decorated veterans of the brass world.

“It’s a neat way to bridge that gap between a student and a pro,” Meredith said. “So, we’re taking these younger players and hopefully setting them up for their own rise to whatever it is they want to do as performers.”

Boston Brass has two trumpets, played by founding member Jeff Connor and Jose Sibaja, one horn, played by Chris Castellanos, one trombone, played by Domingo Pagliuca and one tuba, played by Sam Pilafian. Students of the intensive got to work, practice and perform in groups with these professionals.

The brass quintet has a larger range than one might assume, Meredith said.

“They specialize in chamber music, but the cool thing about the Boston Brass is that they don’t just do what you would consider classical music,” he said. “They actually do jazz, they do pop music, they do their own arrangements of Spanish or Cubano-flavored music. They really bring a great excitement to being a musician.”

The Boston Brass will perform for the public 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are $10.

The following morning, the Boston Brass will perform alongside students of the intensive at 11 a.m., this concert also taking place in the Buchanan Center. This concert — the Boston Brass Summer Intensive Festival Concert — is a free event and serves to conclude the week-long intensive.

Go to www.uwyo.edu/finearts to purchase tickets or for more information.

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