An Afternoon At ‘The Circus’
Twelve talented musicians welcomed their audience with “The National Anthem” and held them captive for an hour and a half.
Audience comments included:
“I had never heard ‘The National Anthem’ played with so much emotion.”
“My hands hurt from clapping so much.”
“Great afternoon of great music.”
“It brought back a lot of memories.”
“We should do this a couple of times a year.”
A United States Air Force Heartland of America Band, Brass in Blue is a symphonic brass ensemble that brings the military tradition of brass and percussion to the concert stage, with the unique addition of a vocalist. The program said “once heard, never forgotten” and I am certain that this concert will be a topic of conversation for a long time.
Brass in Blue took us to the circus. A Karl King march opened the program with flair. Trumpets, horns, trombones, euphonium, tuba and percussion made us believe we were under the big tent. TSgt. Matthew Dunsmore was featured on the euphonium in “The Carnival of Venice.” Wow!
Meredith Willson wrote Seventy-Six Trombones for The Music Man. This small ensemble made it sound like there were 76 trombones on stage. Another Wow!
TSgt. Victoria Bruyette belted out “That Old Black Magic,” “Extraordinary Machine” and came back later in the program to sing an Ella Fitzgerald tune “A-Tisket, A-Tasket.” I could picture her on a nightclub stage in a bright red dress, but talking to her afterward she said that isn’t a career goal. What a voice!
The program announced “Flight of the Bumblebee” featuring SSgt Benjamin Kadow on trombone. The music director’s notes said, “Make sure you pick your jaw up off the floor when Ben finishes.” If you weren’t there, you would never believe the talent of this young man.
Each member of the ensemble is an accomplished musician, and it is evident that they truly enjoy being on tour. They perform with an ease of professionalism, and they give the audience a warm and personal feeling.
The concert came to a close with “Amazing Grace.”?You could have heard a pin drop. The final number was the Armed Services Medley with veterans in the audience standing when the song of their military branch was played. It made an emotional moment. Thanks for a great afternoon, Brass in Blue.