Well, it certainly was a big weekend in the life of this year’s Christmas Revels production — the full cast (adults, teens, children, musicians, and actors) finally has an opportunity to work through the entire show… in costume! The “November weekend” at the Washington Episcopal School is also notable because it is the first time that we get together each year with our wonderful brass quintet. As Music Director, I can tell you that we have THE BEST brass quintet! Not only are they great musicians, but they are family. In fact, they consider each Christmas Revels run (since they started with us in 1996) to be a “family reunion.”
Led by Robert Posten (the guy with the beard, above, playing the bass trombone), this group has performed under many “names” over the years — Boar’s Head Brass (2007), Belsnickel Brass (2006), Royall Noyse Brass (2004), Trombadori i Firenze (2009), Puddletown Brass (2010), and more — I wonder what their name will be this year??? Other members of the group are Robert Birch (trumpet), David Cran (trumpet), Sharon Tiebert Maddox (french horn), and Ben Fritz (trombone).
Prior to their yearly gig with The Christmas Revels, these musicians were known as the Annapolis Brass Quintet (at least, most of them). America’s first full-time performing brass ensemble, this group spent twenty-two years (from 1971 to 1993) playing in all fifty states and throughout Europe, the Orient, the Middle East, Central America and Canada. Learn more about them at http://www.annapolisbrass.com/ (and you can even see some great photos of the group).
The next time we see the brass will be on Sunday at our run through at the Sidwell Friends School, and then we all move into Lisner Auditorium on Monday. I will be sure to get some candid shots of the group in their dressing room. There are two features that I look forward to each year: 1. A photo retrospective (group photo) from each year that they have performed in The Christmas Revels; and 2. Lots and lots of baked goods and chocolate treats… the brass room is a great place to get a little “nosh” during the show. Stay tuned …