If you go:
What: Canadian Brass with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra
Where: Memorial Auditorium, 7th and Broad Street
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16
Admission: Adults $ 30 to $40; Senior and Military $25 and Students $10.
Information: wfso.org and (940) 723-6202
The world famous Canadian Brass are returning to Wichita Falls to perform a very special Christmas program with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra.
The quintet is famous for not their amazing musicianship, said Wayne Bennett, longtime WFSO trumpet player, but the five brass players are also extremely entertaining. The have released 130 albums worldwide and added some 600 works and arrangements to the repertoire.
“Christmas with the Canadian Brass” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at Memorial Auditorium. WFSO conductor Fouad Fakhouri will be joined by the quintet when he delivers his informal pre-concert talk beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The brass group features the original tuba player and leader Chuck Daellenbach, Caleb Hudson and Christopher Coletti on trumpets, Achilles Liarmakopoulos on trombone and Bernhard Scully on horn.
“It will be Christmas holiday music,” said Fakhouri, “all the favorites. The arrangements of holiday and Christmas music were written for the Canadian Brass with orchestral accompaniment.
“They are exceptionally gifted and have been doing it for a very long time (47 years). They are very good at making the music accessible to audiences, while they perform at a very high level.”
It will be the conductor’s first time to work with the quintet, but he has long been aware of them. “I first heard of them when I was in high school in 1990. I had gotten a CD of them and I loved it. I wore out the CD listening to it,” he said with a laugh.
Unlike the group’s previous appearance in Wichita Falls when they played half of the concert, they will perform on all of the material this time around with the exception of “Polar Express” and “Sleigh Ride.”
The concert will feature holiday pieces such as “White Christmas” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” standards such as “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and even well-known rock tunes like “Penny Lane” by the Beatles.
“Their mission is to make symphonic music appealing and accessible to people,” the conductor said. “They will actually encourage people to take photos, no flash. They want people to engage with the music.”
Violinist Aspen Fisher, the Wichita Falls Symphony League scholarship winner will perform on Charles Auguste de Beriot’s “Air Varie No. 1, Op. 1.”
Fakhouri may perhaps be most looking forward to performing “Carmen” (Bizet). “It’s 16 minutes, and they perform the highlights from the opera as a medley. There is a Youtube.com video, where they act it out. It’s very funny. The various members play characters, and I hope they do it at our concert,” he said.
Bennett said that the quintet changed how brass quintets played. “Normally, it’s five guys sitting in a semi-circle playing classical music. They wear Converses with their tuxedos and do commentary between the songs. They even will stand up and walk around the stage.”
It will be funny and lighthearted, the conductor said, along with a level of artistry that is exceptional. “They are some of the best brass players in the world.”