Heavenly music descends on EMC
Precursor to tonight's Brass Quintet performance turns heads
Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Trumpets are often associated with the spiritual, the image of the journey to heaven coming to mind in the process.
That connection was borne out in the work of J. M. Black when he wrote "When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more"
On Wednesday, at a concert held in the Vera Moody Auditorium, on the grounds of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMC), the sound of the trumpets were blown for different reasons. The connection to the heavens was still there.
According to Ann McNamee, of EMC and the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, the main objective of the concert was to sensitise persons to what is expected at what she described as a "big brass extravaganza" to be held today at the Kingston College Chapel on North Street.
"The purpose of the [Saturday extravaganza] concert is for everybody to hear a mass brass choir, as we do not get to hear that in Jamaica. So here is an opportunity for people to hear like fifty brass players at one time." McNamee explained.
The showpiece of all that brass will feature the Guapos Brass Quintet, the Salvation Army Band, Seaview Marching Band, Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Alpha Band, and the Kingston College Chapel Choir.
International trumpeter Marc Reese and pianist Lisa Leonard were the appetisers for the Wednesday show.
The occasion also provided an opportunity for the audience to see the duet perform, as they will be unable to perform on Saturday. The duet was joined by the chamber brass quintet called the Guapos (the handsome ones).
Against the backdrop of regular house lights and a glittered curtain at the back of the stage, all delivered the taste of heaven.
Their selections were pristinely delivered.
Thorvald Hansen, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Errol Garner and Johannes Brahms were the chosen arrangers. Brahms seemed to be the favourite.
Among the selections were Brahms, three Intermezzi: Obis 119. No. 1, Obis 118 No. 3 and Obis 119 No. 3.
SINGING FROM THE HEART
Later, Leonard told The Gleaner that the pieces represented the best of Brahms "his ability to sing from the heart, while exploring the dark sides of the emotions to something light and playful." She added that she found his short piano works to be wonderful.
On French horns, tabor, trombone, The Guapos played the Michael Tilson-Thomas arranged, Street Song. It was cultural, jazzy and entertaining.
The five men returned for an encore. And they had the audience rocking to the jazz standard, That's a Plenty. Having the audience participate was also a plus.
When Reese, along with Leonard, returned for their encore, the feeling of bliss intensified with Errol Garner's Misty.
As was customary, at the beginning of each act, perhaps due to the absence of a written programme, Reese told the audience that they would recognise the song and, with that, the burly trumpeter immersed the hall in bliss.
Only when the trumpet ceased to breathe and the piano had sounded its last key, did the transfixed audience dare to exhale.
The applause was sustained.
And the approximately hourlong concert came to an end.