Music school Faculty Brass Quintet plays first faculty recital

Five music staff members holding different wind instruments walked out onto the Auer stage. They took a bow and played an upbeat jazz cover of “Toccata” by composer Gaspar Cassadó.

The newly formed Faculty Brass Quintet put on their first faculty recital at 8 p.m. Saturday at Auer Hall in the Jacobs School of Music. The performance was a part of the IU Jacobs School of Music Summer Music Festival.

The Faculty Brass Quintet consists of faculty members from the music school: John Rommel, who plays the trumpet, Joey Tartell, who plays the trumpet, Jeff Nelsen, who plays the horn, Carl Lenthe, who plays the trombone and Daniel Perantoni, who plays the tuba.

For the series, the group performed covers of a variety of songs from other brass quintets from the past few centuries. They played songs such as “Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Suite Americana No. 1” by Enrique Crespo and “Beale Street Blues” by W.C. Handy.

“Welcome to our newly formed quintet,” Perantoni told the audience. “We are grateful that you came, and we have very much enjoyed putting on this program for all of you.”

Each song was played differently in terms of rhythm, speed, volume and tone. Every member of the group took a solo section throughout the songs. After ending each song, the five men would then stand to take a bow.

The group would also incorporate other instruments such as drums, a tambourine and the triangle. Occasionally during songs, they would cover their wind instruments with mutes alter the tone of their instruments.

Between songs, each member would take turns speaking to the audience regarding the history and significance of the next song to be played. They also introduced themselves and talked about the backstory behind the formation of the group and their past experiences playing in other brass groups.

“Playing brass quintet has always been a part of our careers over the years,” Carl Lenthe told the audience. “We all grew up and spent a formative amount of years listening to brass quintets.”

Lenthe cited all the composers they played Saturday and the New York Brass Quintet as major musical influences to the members of the quintet group.

Jeff Nelsen has been a music professor at the music school for almost a decade. He said the faculty members decided to come together based on the prior experience they had playing brass and the influences they had with this musical genre.

“We discussed the song selection for this show by emailing each other back and forth, and the difficulty was finding a date and time for all of us to be available to play,” Nelsen said. “What was great was how we got to incorporate five different styles of music and a bunch of different personalities in this concert.”

Nelsen said the quintet has set a goal to keep improving with each of their future concerts. He said the response of the audience really helps influence how they reflect upon their performance skills.

“Concerts are significant by the audience’s response,” Nelsen said. “We were confident, and I think we all played well. It’s just the matter of how we think of each other’s individual performance.”

Audience members clapped loudly after each performance and gave the quintet a standing ovation after their encore.

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