We play everything from Gabrieli to big band music. We give Sousa his due and take a detour to Dixieland and even throw in a polka for good measure. There are compositions written just for brass ensemble such as “Fantasia of Praise”. “The Lord’s Prayer” is one of our favorite church service selections. We have many patriotic selections as well and want to mention (though we did not include one of them) an extensive list of music just for the Christmas season.
This recordings were created with the dedication and skill of Don Vickers, a musician in his own right, and, we think, a fine recording specialist as well. It was not done in a studio manner. The ensemble showed up. We played a few measures to check recording levels and then let it rip. As a result, what you hear is a realistic presentation of how well the group plays under pressure. You will hear a few notes which were not requested by the composer, but you can appreciate the fact that when the ensemble is required to perform it is always “live” with no chance to erase a dropped note.
The Following are samples of the Jeffco Brass Ensemble. To Hear them click on the
It is hard to beat the music of Giovanni Gabrieli. He was born near the year 1558 and it is thought that he died in 1613. These dates seem to change depending on your sources, but it is considered a fact that his work represents the finest we know of from the Renaissance and in particular the music of Venice during this period. The Jeffco Brass Ensemble experienced playing in Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice where Gabrieli served as director of music starting in 1585. The manner in which the sound bounced throughout the huge building made his accomplishments even more appreciated as he wrote compositions with as many as 8 voices battling for their prominence in a complex and contrasting structure of melody, rhythm, and harmony. The Jeffco Brass now includes three of his works in their performances.
This is one of the many Dixieland numbers the ensemble plays. It always seems like an old friend.
Basin Street Blues has a curious history. Composed in 1928, it was popularized through a recording made late the following year by Louis Armstrong but gained a foot hold on full jazz-standard status a little over a year later when, on a Benny Goodman Charleston Chasers record date, arranger Glenn Miller decided to dress it up with a verse, whose Iyrics (Won't you come along with me...) were sung by Jack Teagarden. In all subsequent versions this strain was incorporated as if it had been part of the original composition.
This is just one of the great songs of the big band era. It is identified with the Glenn Miller band. Glenn Miller is one of our own as he attended the University of Colorado. He became the most celebrated bandleaders of the 20th Century. And you can bet the farm that his music will live on into the next century. If you say you haven't ever heard any Glenn Miller, you'd have to be lying, because surely you heard it somewhere. It has engrained itself into our popular culture. Few artists have reached that pinnacle. And Miller's legend continues to grow even today, more than fifty years after his death.
John Philip Sousa, also known as “The March King,” was the father of the American band movement. The “Washington Post March” is an example of one of his finest efforts, but what is not as commonly known is that he prepared his musical career by studying voice, violin, piano, flute, cornet, baritone, trombone and alto horn. Before he became director of the United States Marine Band, he went on tour performing on violin and eventually conducting theater orchestras such as Gilbert & Sullivan's “H.M.S. Pinafore” on Broadway. From 1880 to 1892, Sousa conducted "The President's Own", serving under presidents Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, Arthur and Harrison. After two successful but limited tours with the Marine Band in 1891 and 1892, promoter David Blakely convinced Sousa to Resign and organize a civilian concert band that continued through 1932. His band was so successful that it paved the way for the band movement we take for granted to this very day. Sousa died at age 77, after conducting a rehearsal of the Ringgold Band in Reading, Pennsylvania. The last piece he conducted was "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
Joe Oliver, also known as King Oliver, was born and raised in the cradle of Dixieland: Louisiana and New Orleans. “Sugar Foot Stomp” is one of his many compositions. His first instrument was the trombone, then he switched to the cornet. He brought his music to Chicago and through his band introduced the young Louis Armstrong for the first time to audiences outside of New Orleans.
“Fantasia of Praise” was arranged by Stan Pethel, director of music at Berry College in Georgia. He teaches trombone and tuba, composition and arranging, and directs the Berry College brass ensembles. This work is based on “Lobe Den Herren” a Bach cantata. Two hymns are featured: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty & Holy, Holy, Holy”.
This beautiful arrangement by John Moss needs little explanation. It was the most famous musical composition by Albert Hay Malotte, who lived from 1895 to 1964.
America has the good fortune to have a second anthem. This patriotic song was written by Irving Berlin as part of a musical called “Yip, Yip, Yaphank”. It did not fit well with that show, so Irving put it away for twenty years thinking it had little value. In the fall of 1938, the great voice of Kate Smith introduced a revised version to a nation fearing the events and threats of war in Europe. It was an immediate success and has remained a standard ever since.
Natalie Sleeth was born in Illinois in 1930 and died in Denver in 1992. She began studying piano at age four. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1952 and received honorary degrees in view of over 180 highly successful selections for church and school. “Joy in the Morning” is an example of her fine work.
This polka medley is just for fun. The old style after beat arrangement seems to force you to tap your foot as it flows through familiar tunes.
This is our name for “Just a Closer Walk”
and “Just a Little Talk with Jesus”. One can picture a somber funeral
in the deep South followed by the joy of worship in a lively setting. We hope
you enjoy hearing them as much as we enjoy playing them.