By Laurelle Walsh
Thalia Brass Quintet makes its debut in the Methow Valley with an outdoor concert at the Shafer Museum in Winthrop on Saturday (June 6) at 3 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Quintet members Frank Riggs and Ron Ryder on trumpet, Carey LaMothe on French horn, Jim Hattori on trombone and Jim Russell on tuba, are all principal musicians in Seattle’s Thalia Symphony Orchestra. They will present a wide variety of music, ranging from the 1600s to the present, including pieces written specifically for brass quintet such as Ewald’s Symphony for Brass Choir, and Sonata from Die Bankelsangerlieder.
Among other selections are arrangements of familiar works by George Gershwin, including Nice Work if You Can Get It, Foggy Day, and Love is Here to Stay, and a suite of songs from the musical West Side Story, by Leonard Bernstein.
The quintet will also perform Boulders and Whiteclouds by Winthrop composer Lynette Westendorf, who will introduce her composition. “It’s a challenging piece and it’s the one we’ve spent the most time rehearsing,” said Hattori. “We’re really looking forward to performing the piece and believe it’s a welcome addition to the repertoire for brass quintet.”
Members of the quintet will introduce other selections in the program, describing the history and significance of each. Besides being informative to the audience, the short break between pieces provides a necessary physical rest for the musicians because, according to Hattori, “playing a brass instrument is sort of like weight lifting.” The audience will also learn about brass instruments and the history of brass quintets, Hattori said.
Despite the atmospheric and acoustical challenges of performing out-of-doors, the Shafer Museum courtyard, surrounded by beautifully preserved historic buildings, is “a beautiful spot and very audience friendly,” Hattori said. “We are really excited about this concert!”
For more information about the concert or the Shafer Museum, contact museum board member Richard Hart at 996-3419.