WASHINGTON SYMPHONIC BRASS
May 30-June 3, 2017 | Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA
The Washington Symphonic Brass, founded in 1993, is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the DC, Maryland and Virginia region with world-class performances of music for modern brass ensemble. Founders Milton Stevens and Phil Snedecor formed this group of players in order to challenge traditional performance boundaries with fresh interpretations of the standard brass repertoire, and to create innovative arrangements of classical literature. The WSB strives to cultivate new audiences of all ages through live concerts that are evocative, dramatic, and entertaining; through high-quality commercial recordings, and by educating future generations of brass and percussion musicians.
WSB members are of some of the finest professional musicians on the East Coast, and are in constant demand for orchestral, solo, and chamber music performances. Individually, they have performed with many of the nation’s best orchestras, such as the National Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony, in addition to the nation’s top military bands. The WSB performs throughout the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan area, appearing at some of the great performance spaces on the East Coast. They have been recognized for their excellence in many ways, including a WAMMIE (Washington Area Music) Award and a Grammy nomination for their excellent recordings. Specializing in tailor-made arrangements written by Phil Snedecor for large brass ensemble and percussion (four trumpets, four horns, four trombones, tuba, timpani, and percussion instruments) the varied repertoire of the Washington Symphonic Brass spans more than five centuries. The WSB is the Ensemble-in-Residence at George Mason University and is a collaborative artist with many top choral groups in the region, and was recently the official brass music provider at numerous events for the Pope Francis’ visit to the Washington DC.
The WSB’s newest CD, “Classic Rock for Brass” recorded in June, includes many of tonight’s selections in a groundbreaking recording showing just how versitle the WSB can be! Classic = “Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.” This recording offers just that – great music, great energy, great playing. Classic Rock. Classic Washington Symphonic Brass. Phil Snedecor’s arrangements, from Elvis to the Beatles to Queen, will rock your world! An exciting bonus – several tunes feature the artistry of trumpet soloist, Vince DiMartino.
The WSB is a not-for-profit 501- (c)(3) arts organization.
“Phil Snedecor’s brilliant arrangements of these orchestral classics made it possible to forget that there were woodwinds and strings in the original scores. For that matter, in his clever brass-ification of Orff’s choral favorite Carmina Burana, I hardly missed the sound of voices.” Baltimore Sun
“Brass, boldly redefined…by these skilled and ambitious players…”
The Washington Post
“The playing is both precise and exciting, and there is a wider range of color than you might have thought possible” FANFARE Magazine
The WSB has for Summit Records and Warner Classics. All are available at www.wsbrass.com
Ancient Airs for Brass & Organ was recorded at Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean, VA with William Neil, organist of National Presbyterian Church and the National Symphony Orchestra. “Ancient Airs” includes music of Respighi, Hildegard von Bingen, J.S. Bach, Praetorius and others.
Nielsen on Brass was recorded at Washington National Cathedral with Douglas Major, organist. Included is the music of Carl Nielsen–his Symphony No. 3 “Sinfonia Espansiva”, nine of the Short Preludes for Organ, Op. 51, and The Aladdin Suite, Op. 34
Dances with Brass was recorded at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. and includes favorite symphonic dances arranged specifically for the Washington Symphonic Brass by Phil Snedecor.
Burana in Brass, features music from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. as well as the Finale to the Saint-Saëns famous “Organ Symphony” and great solo performances from members of the WSB. Available on the Warner Classics label.
The Edge features music of Stravinsky, Shostokovich, Copland and Berlioz. With these four arrangements, gleaned from the original scores of the compact string quartet to the massive post-Romantic orchestra, arranger Phil Snedecor takes that chance and wins, making you wonder why those composers thought they needed those other instruments anyway. Tailor-made for the WSB, these arrangements take you on a wild and exciting ride, and by the time you reach the end of it, you are breathless and want to ride again. Put simply, you will not find more exciting brass (and percussion) playing . . . anywhere. So strap yourself in and get ready for the ride of your life – on the EDGE.
Home for the Holidays features the music of many homes from all over the world; Norway, Germany, Poland, France, England, Russia, Finland and the United States. Going ‘home’ for the holiday season can mean many different things. But whether you return to your hometown or spend the holidays far away, you know you are home when you reunite with your family and friends. The musicians of the Washington Symphonic Brass have been lucky enough to find a holiday home at the Washington National Cathedral and the Music Hall at Strathmore. Every year, the WSB fills these magnificent spaces with music of the season reinvented specifically for these great acoustics by arranger Phil Snedecor in a concert that celebrates the music of international holiday traditions. As you listen to this special recording we hope you will be reminded of the things that make the holiday season special: family, friends, good food, good music, and that feeling of home.