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A debut concert

March 1, 2013

A debut concert

A group of music-loving students forms a brass quintet and prepares for its first solo concert. The March 2 event in Filene Recital Hall will feature both traditional and contemporary selections.

March 1, 2013

The Peoples’ Brass Republic (PBR), a student group, will present a concert of repertoire celebrating the brass quintet at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 2, in Filene Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Group members are Matt Barth, Sam Kastner, and Brendan Sullivan, all Class of 2015; Jeff Spindel, Class of 2014; and Betsy Baker, a Queensbury High School sophomore. This is the group’s first solo show. The program includes a collection of traditional and contemporary brass quintet music and features “Colechester Fantasy” by Eric Ewazen, a living composer, whose work is essentially his musical impression of a series of pubs he has visited in Colchester, England. Each movement of the piece is named after a pub.

The following is some biographical background on the quintet members and the group:

Barth is majoring in economics and minoring in music. He grew up in Hanover, N.H., studied trumpet with Max Culpepper, and participated in a in a wide variety of musical ensembles. While in high school, he traveled to Neustadt, Germany, twice on an exchange with a German Jazz Band. Barth won a seat in both the New Hampshire All-State Concert and New Hampshire All-State Jazz Band. At Skidmore he plays in small jazz ensembles, the PBR, and a student funk band called Bo Peep and the Funk Sheep.

Baker is currently a sophomore at Queensbury High School, and has been playing trumpet since the age of 9. She plays in her high school band and with the Empire State Repertory Orchestra, and studies trumpet with Matthew Schwartz.

Sullivan is a self-determined major in TV and film production. A founding member of the People’s Brass Republic, he has played horn for nine years and also performs on a number of instruments.

Kastner also is a founding member of the People’s Brass Republic. A double major in music and physics, Kastner is involved in a number of musical ensembles, including the orchestra, small jazz ensemble, and trombone trio. In his spare time, he is the co-music director of Drastic Measures a cappella group, the horn section leader of Bo Peep and the Funk Sheep, and a head tour guide.

Spindel is majoring in biochemistry. He grew up in New Canaan, Conn., and enjoys playing a variety of instruments ranging from tuba to ukulele. In high school, Spindel participated in the Western Regional and Connecticut All-State Jazz bands. At Skidmore he has played in a trombone quartet, the Skidmore Jazz Band, and the PBR. Spindel also plays on the varsity baseball team.

Patrice Malatestinic coaches the group. She explains, “They were/are a chamber music group and part of a brass ensemble class, where they would normally perform on a class program at the semester's end. They began in the fall of 2011 and have evolved over the past year, adding a new trumpet player, Betsy Baker, and Brendan as the group’s horn player, and they've outgrown just playing a set on the class chamber music concert."

She continued, “They have very strong ideas about what and how they'd like to perform, and their own concert gives them much more freedom to create and make decisions about molding their show. This is their first solo show.”

Added Malatestinic, “My ultimate goal in coaching chamber music is to create groups that stay together during their college careers (and sometimes beyond), get some musical and creative traction (develop a skill set), evolve, collaborate, and make decisions so they have ownership  of their ensemble.”

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