Annapolis Brass Quintet calls its finale

December 23, 1992|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer

The Annapolis Brass Quintet, one of the area's premier musical organizations for the past 22 years, will be closing down at the end of its 1992-1993 season.

After months of deliberation, trumpeters David Cran and Robert Suggs, trombonists Wayne Wells and Robert Poston and French horn player Sharon Tiebert recently decided to disband the ensemble, which is especially well-known locally for its annual slate of concerts at Anne Arundel Community College's Pascal Center for the Performing Arts.

The announcement came in a letter to a select number of friends and supporters of the quintet.

"The most compelling factor in making this choice," the members wrote, "has been what many have viewed as a national decline of support for and interest in the arts . . . we all agree the right time to close the quintet is now."

The members thanked their audiences, saying "your support and friendship over the years has helped make the Annapolis Brass Quintet a chamber ensemble which we truly believe will be remembered kindly in years to come."

Among the quintet's recent performances was a Dec. 6 Christmas music concert in Towson. The remainder of the season will continue as scheduled, ending with an April concert at the Pascal Center.

Spurred by such noted ensembles as the Canadian Brass and the Empire Brass Quintet, brass chamber music has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent decades, and the ABQ certainly capitalized on that interest. The group's artistry has introduced an entire generation of local concert-goers to the glorious antiphonal music of the Renaissance, the majesty of Baroque chorales, as well as the contemporary chamber literature.

Their repertoire has featured such composers as Venetians Andrea and Giovanni Gabrielli, Germans Heinrich Schutz and Samuel Scheidt and English masters Holbourne and Weelkes.

Brass instruments make particularly eloquent exponents of Bach chorales as well.

The ABQ also included works by such talented local composers as Douglas Allanbrook of St. John's College, and Janice MacAulay of Anne Arundel Community College.

"The secret of great conducting," chuckled the French maestro Pierre Monteux is "never to look encouragingly at the brass."

But with the ABQ, it's been impossible to follow the maestro's admonition.

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