By Jason Portras
This past Saturday evening, December 3, Revelstokians were entertained in a nearly-packed RPAC by a very talented group of musicians, the Foothills Brass Quintet. Hailing from Calgary with a 35-year history, the group has seen many talented musicians come and go, but their latest incarnation consists of: Rosalee Morrison on the French Horn, Jean-François Cotnoir on the tuba, Carsten Rubeling on the Trombone, Chris Morrison & Derek Milton on trumpets.
The Quintet arrived in town the previous Wednesday to share their talent and to spread their love of music by inviting Revelstoke’s school-age children to come join them at the Performing Arts Centre, and also by holding a workshop and rehearsal session with the Revelstoke Community Band prior to the Saturday show. As Chris Morrison remarked on stage, staying at RMR certainly gave them first-hand insight into the craziness that is Revelstoke when The Hill opens, quickly going from owning the hotel hot tub and hallways to having to squeeze along the corridors.
The Revelstoke Community Band, providing music and entertainment to Revelstokians for the past 120-odd years since 1895, opened the show with John Baker at the helm, wielding his sticks of tempo and phrasing, organizing his group of musicians into a cohesive dance of instruments. The first piece the Community Band played, supplemented by all members of the Quintet, was a medley that suitably began with a seasonal tune, Joy To The World. The Community Band consists of 25 members, up from 17 last year, but they are always welcoming to new musicians. If you are interested in joining or learning more about them, please visit their website here or their Facebook page here.
The Foothills Brass Quintet played a wide variety of music, from WC Handy’s Beale Street Blues (this might sound familiar to you as referenced in the hit song Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohen) to the ever-famous George Gershwin to the simply complex Jazz of Duke Ellington to the 1700’s Baroque stylings of Bach to the present-day Star Wars theme of John Williams, often interspersed with Christmas music and seasonal jingles. One of the most apt songs to be played, with as much hope as dread springing from the comments of the audience, was Let It Snow!
The talent and musicianship of the Quintet was delicate yet powerful and their stage presence was as relaxed as it was intriguing. Certainly, many laughs were had this night. It is positively clear to see how they are able to tour and make a living from their abilities. Bringing it all back to the seasonal theme, they ended the show with the jovial jingle Sleigh Ride, something warm and hummable for the audience to melt off into the cold somewhat-snowy landscape of Revelstoke with.
If you’d like to learn more about the Foothills Brass Quintet, please have a gander at their website here or on their Facebook page here.
For more pictures from the concert, please visit the Revelstoke Life & Times Facebook page.