School of Music

USM School of Music Opens Season with Faculty Series Tribute Concert to British Brass Legends

GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music will open the fall season with a Faculty Concert Series performance of Maine-ly British Brass: A Tribute to the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the London Brass.

This long-awaited concert was postponed because of a winter 2013 snowstorm.

The details of the concert are:

Maine-ly British Brass: A Tribute to the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the London Brass, 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, Corthell Concert Hall, USM Gorham Campus; Tickets $15, general public; $10, seniors, USM employees and alumni; $5, students. Make reservations online at or call the USM Music Box Office at (207) 780-5555.

To commemorate a British trumpeter and his unique brass ensemble, Betty Rines, USM trumpet faculty member, has once again assembled top-of-the-line professional brass musicians for the USM School of Music Faculty Concert Series tribute concert. Of the 12 professionals performing in this concert, seven are USM faculty, and five are USM alumni.

Peter Martin, professor of Music, will conduct the ensemble which includes trumpeters Betty Rines, Mark Tipton, alumnus, Alan Kaschub, who is also the director of the School of Music, and Matthew Lagarde, alumnus; trombonists Brian Diehl, faculty member, Mark Manduca, faculty member, Chris Oberholtzer, associate professor of Music and director of Jazz Studies, and Thomas Michaud, alumnus; Andrew Pelletier, Grammy Award-winning alumnus, on horn; Dan Hunter, faculty member, on tuba; and percussionists Nancy Smith, faculty member, and Joshua Champagne, alumnus.

Rines recalls a time in her life when as a young trumpet player she was delighted and inspired to listen to the full, rich sound of the brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

"As brass musicians, we sit in the orchestra and wait for our few moments of glory -- grand, fantastic and brief," Rines admitted, adding that in 1951, Phillip Jones changed that. "Jones took the brass from the back row to the forefront,” she said.

The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble started off merely as a basic brass quintet before it eventually transformed into a much larger ensemble, complete with 10 brass solo musicians. The most important feature of Jones' influence on arrangements and compositions for these ensembles is that it recognized brass musicians as chamber players, providing unlimited new possibilities for contemporary composers.

From arrangements of pieces from the Baroque and Renaissance periods, to contemporary works, what will be heard in this performance will be an ensemble of soloists.