The Island Low Brass Mafia
06/07/10 08:59 Filed in: Press
A low brass recital featuring the world premiere performance of a new work by Nova Scotia composer Derek Charke will take place July 18, 2:30 pm at the Steel Recital Hall, UPEI, Charlottetown. It will feature Eric Mathis, Dale Sorensen, trombones; Bob Nicholson, bass trombone/tuba; Gregory Irvine, tuba; and Frances McBurnie, piano
There’s something in the water here on PEI. That’s the only plausible explanation for how this province has produced so many accomplished low brass musicians, collectively and affectionately known as “The Island Low Brass Mafia.” Being Islanders has fostered such a sense of camaraderie among these musicians that they get together to perform whenever the opportunity presents itself. For Eric Mathis, Bob Nicholson and Dale Sorensen, that opportunity has been rare in recent years; in fact, they have not performed together since 2002. Eric Mathis has just recently moved back to the Maritimes to play Principal Trombone with Symphony Nova Scotia and serve as the orchestra’s Director of Operations, after spending the last 14 years in Hawaii performing with the Honolulu Symphony. Bob Nicholson will be home for the summer playing bass trombone in the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra; he spends the winter months playing tuba with the Calgary-based Foothills Brass. Dale Sorensen, who also plays with the Charlottetown Festival, brokered a deal where the planets could align and these three musicians would be on the Island together long enough to give a performance. In addition to their Island connection, these three trombonists have two other important things in common: they have all had UPEI Professor of Brass, tubaist Gregory Irvine, as a teacher, and they have all been mentored by pianist Frances McBurnie. On July 18 at 2:30 pm, all five of these musicians will present a recital at Steel Recital Hall, UPEI, featuring music for various combinations of low brass from solo to quartet, with and without piano accompaniment.
The highlight of the concert will be the world premiere performance of a brand new work by Nova Scotia composer Derek Charke, whose music is performed and commissioned by world renowned artists such as the Kronos Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and others. Commissioned by Sorensen with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Charke’s Quartet for Low Brass is an exciting and substantial addition to the repertoire. Also on the program will be works by French composer Henri Tomasi, Swedish composer and virtuoso trombonist Christian Lindberg, Italian film composer Nino Rota, and Canadian composers Serge Filiatreault and Raymond Luedeke.