Townsend School of Music’s Faculty Brass Quintet recently showcased the talents of its members with a spectacular, multifaceted performance. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Fickling Hall opened its doors for the group’s first engagement of the school year, which featured a broad array of classical and contemporary compositions. This year, the group was happy to announce the addition of its newest member, adjunct professor Hollie Lawing Pritchard. The free event brought in an amazing turnout of eager students, fellow faculty members and members of the local community.
As she traveled backstage prior to the concert, Pritchard explained that “everyone has been really welcoming,” and that she has had no problem feeling like part of the group. When discussing the fact that this is her first time teaching college students, she laughingly said,“(It’s) totally better.” Aside from teaching weekly lessons at Mercer, Pritchard is currently privately training 26 high school level students.
Throughout the concert, the audience was taken through a variety of styles and genres, some familiar and others not as much. Several of the pieces performed, especially those from the older classical canon, were rearranged to suit the brass quintet. Others, such as Michael Kamen’s “Quintet,” were specifically composed for an all-brass ensemble. Nonetheless, all were remarkable and equally enjoyable to listen to.
One of the most exciting pieces of the night was a Leonard Bernstein composition entitled “Dance Suite.” In the classic Bernstein style, the audience was kept entertained with an eclectic arrangement of sounds often reminiscent of jazz. Each movement of the suite was different from the other, but they married together through the feelings they invoked.
After the conclusion of the performance and Pritchard’s seemingly flawless trombone solo in “Blues for Brass” by Richard Roblee, Pritchard warmly expressed that she believed the concert was well done.
Overall, the Faculty Brass Quintet provided a wonderful night and an excellent example of artistry from Mercer’s Townsend School of Music.