Listen Bizet -- 'Habanera' from Carmen
Aug 27, 2015
Listen Bizet -- 'Intermezzo' from Carmen
Aug 27, 2015
Listen Bizet -- 'Aragonaise' from Carmen
Sep 9, 2015
If you take away only one thing from the Copper Street Brass Class Notes visits, it should be that playing music with your friends is fun! CSB mixes film and popular music with classical repertoire to help their young audiences connect with the music and get fired up about the brass family. It works a treat.
Each instrument is introduced individually so the audience can learn to distinguish that instrument's specific traits. We learn that the smaller the instrument, the higher it is, and vice versa. We learn that brass instruments can play really loud, but also really soft. The horn is actually the longest instrument in the brass family, it's just all curled up. The tuba can go really, really low and come in different sizes (as can tuba players). Since the trombone has no valves (buttons) but uses a slide to change the notes, it can even go in between pitches; the longer the slide is out the lower the pitch (the trombonist likes to show this off in an extensive cadenza in a rendition of the "Habanera" from Bizet's Carmen).
Each instrument can represent different personalities. The trumpets bring the calypso party with "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid. The French horn gets to be heroic whilst playing the theme from Star Wars, but also mysterious during the theme from Harry Potter. The tuba gets to be the opposite of the French horn, representing Darth Vader and the Empire on the menacing "Imperial March."
Almost all the music that Copper Street plays is arranged for the ensemble by the French horn player, Tim Bradley, who tackles everything from the classics like "Trepak" from The Nutcracker, to the recent pop tunes like "Royals" by Lorde. This fun variety helps their young audiences connect with the performance and the quintet as musicians as they experience the opportunities that come with playing an instrument. Have you ever heard several hundred kids singing, no, belting, the words to "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen? Well that is what happens at the conclusion of the Copper Street Brass (CSB) Class Notes concert. Clearly the key to receiving wild applause and inducing screaming enthusiasm as well as singing along, is to include the song "Let It Go." It was a great way to invite the kids to participate and reiterate that making music together is really fun!