TAMIU Hosts USAF Ceremonial Brass Quintet Feb. 17

TAMIU Hosts USAF Ceremonial Brass Quintet
Performance, Clinic Feb. 19

The music continues at Texas A&M International University with the United States Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Brass Quintet’s performance and master classes Sunday, Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall. (photo)

The concert is open to the public and free of charge. The clinics start at 2 p.m. and are open to area band students; pre-registration is required.

The United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass has provided the finest musical support for state arrivals at the White House, full honor arrivals for foreign dignitaries at the Pentagon, retirements, changes of command ceremonies, awards ceremonies, patriotic programs and funerals at Arlington Cemetery.

The Brass has made numerous appearances on radio and national television, performed in Moscow at the 50th anniversary of the V.E. Day celebration and military tattoo ceremonies in the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.

Dr. Frank Grzych, chair of the department of fine and performing arts, said he remembers the Norway-Sweden performances because he served as the group’s conductor during that time and traveled with the group overseas. Dr. Grzych served as the associate conductor of the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., for 10 years.

“These performances were a highlight of my 23 years in the Air Force. Other groups shared the stage with the USAF Ceremonial Brass — the Hungarian Central Army Band, British Royal Marine Band, the Pakistani Bagpipe Band and the Swedish and Norwegian Military Bands. Military band tattoos are big all over Europe and these performances were presented in arenas and civic centers with 20,000 people attending each night,” explained Grzych.

According to Grzych, the Ceremonial Brass also performs on the balcony of the White House for the traditional Easter Egg Roll, marches down Pennsylvania Avenue as part of the inaugural celebrations and performed the arrival ceremonies of former President Ronald Reagan during the State Funeral ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

“Laredo is in for a terrific treat as the Ceremonial Brass Quintet performs a unique concert of brass music from the Baroque Period to modern times,” added Grzych.

Area band students are also in for a treat because the Ceremonial Brass Quintet will present free master classes for trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba players. Senior Master Sergeant Gilbert Corella will also talk to students about careers as a musician in the Air Force.

Local and area band directors must call the department of fine and performing arts at 326.2654 to register their students.

The origins of the Ceremonial Brass trace back to 1964 when The United States Air Force Headquarters Command Band was incorporated into the U.S. Air Force Band as a ceremonial unit. It became an all brass and percussion ensemble in 1985 and was renamed “The Ceremonial Brass.”

It has since evolved into a 50-member organization consisting of world-class brass players, percussionists and drum major. This elite group is responsible for more than 350 ensemble and 350 solo performances per year, which includes large ensembles and buglers to perform in most outdoor ceremonial venues and The Ceremonial Brass Quintet for smaller indoor settings.

Brass music has played an important role in public gatherings and ceremonies for hundreds of years. Military leaders have always been keenly aware of the strength and carrying power of brass and percussion instruments and have often chosen them to provide signals, alarms, and other ceremonial concert music.

For more information, please contact Grzych at 326.2654, e-mail fgrzych@tamiu.edu or visit offices in CFPA, room 217C.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu