Dallas Brass, one of America’s premier musical ensembles, is coming to Hastings, Nebraska, September 12-13 to serve as artist-in-residence at Hastings Public Schools, conduct masterclasses with students from Hastings College and perform, both alone and in concert with the students.
The band, founded by Michael Levine in 1983, play traditional horns with full drums and percussion, giving them access to a wide range of styles including classic masterpieces, Dixieland, swing, Broadway , Hollywood and patriotic music. They have performed for Presidents Gerald Ford and George HW Bush, appeared on CBS’ “Early Show” and their music has been used on a television show several times. Levine played trombone for the band until he became manager in 2015.
The set includes Graham Taylor and Brian Neal on trumpet; Juan Berrios on horn, alto horn and flugelhorn; trombonist John Wasson; Paul Carlson on tuba; and percussionist Craig Hill.
During the day on monday september 12 Dallas Brass members will work with students from Hastings Middle School and Hastings Senior High School, participating in their artist-in-residence program.
Then at 6:00 p.m., the band will hold a mini-performance and informal question and answer session at First Presbyterian Church (621 N. Lincoln Avenue), in conjunction with Hastings Community Music Academy. Desserts will be offered to those present. This event is free and open to the public.
On tuesday september 13, the Dallas Brass will host masterclasses for music students at Hastings College. They will perform, teach and talk about entrepreneurship, and share their philosophy of music education.
The Dallas Brass in Concert begins at 7:00 p.m. September 13 at Hastings Senior High School Auditorium (1100 W. 14th Street). It will feature the Dallas Brass and include special performances by students from Hastings Middle School, Hastings High School and Hastings College. The concert is free and open to the public.
Sponsors supporting Dallas Brass events in Hastings include Hastings Public Schools Foundation, Hastings Community Arts Council, Nebraska Arts Council, Hastings Public Schools Music Department, First Presbyterian Church, Parents of the Hastings Band, Hastings College Music, Coaches Corner, Hastings College Foundation and Hastings Community Music Academy.
More information about the Dallas Brass can be found online at dallasbrass.com.
Michael Levin (director) hails from St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He first attended the University of Minnesota and then the Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree. For three years, he held the position of assistant principal trombone at the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (Israel). He continues to be the master of ceremonies and artistic director of the ensemble. Levine recently created a program called Harmony Bridge, which is designed to connect students in school groups with people in senior communities across the country.
Brian Neal (trumpet), originally from Miami, Florida, returns to the Dallas Brass after being a member of the ensemble from 1999 to 2011. During his hiatus, he has toured, composed, recorded and is currently Director of Instrumental Studies and Trumpet Teacher at Miami Dade College in Miami. Neal received his training at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He was principal trumpet for the Miami City Ballet and also released a solo CD with organist Thomas Schuster titled “Reflections”.
Graham Taylor (trumpet), originally from Orange County, California, is currently principal trumpet of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra (Wisconsin) and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra (Minnesota). Taylor received a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Taylor has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Symphony and many others. He can be heard on recordings with Hiss Golden Messenger as trumpeter and arranger. Taylor has served on the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, the University of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Day School.
Juan Berrios (horn; alto horn; flugelhorn), originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, is a passionate pedagogue. He works with countless students of all ages across the country each year as a visiting clinician, conductor, chamber music coach, marching band instructor, and private instructor. He holds degrees in horn performance and wind instrument conducting from the University of Central Florida and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, respectively. Berrios is currently a horn instructor at Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts.
John Wasson (trombone), born in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a founding member of the Dallas Brass, having played bass trombone in the original ensemble. Wasson went on to pursue a career as a freelance writer, producer, and bass trombonist and tuba player. He returns to the Dallas Brass this season on tenor trombone. He was also one of the main arrangers and composers of the Dallas Brass repertoire over the years. His accomplishments outside of Dallas Brass include hundreds of published arrangements and compositions, including an arrangement of Caravan heard in the final scene of the 2014 Academy Award-winning film “Whiplash.”
Paul Carlson (tuba) grew up in Illinois and started playing tuba in his sixth grade band. He completed studies in tuba performance at the University of Illinois, the University of New Mexico and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. His experience includes the New Mexico Brass Quintet, Santa Fe Symphony Brass Quintet, King’s Brass, Walt Disney Collegiate All-Star Band, Harvey Phillips Tuba Company, as well as a number of symphony orchestras.
Craig Hill (percussion) hails from Youngstown, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Youngstown State University, majoring in percussion performance and music education. Hill has performed extensively in the United States and internationally with the Broadway show Swing!, Tokyo Disneyland, Grand World Voyages Cruise Lines, Billboard Media Group, and a special production featuring Grammy Award winners. Currently residing in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, the “Craig Hill Presents” concert series features local musicians and interdisciplinary artists focused on improvisation.
Hastings College is a four-year residential college that focuses on academic and extracurricular student success. Hastings’ student-centric initiatives include providing books, an iPad, and a two-week study experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows faculty and students to focus on fewer courses at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Find out more at hastings.edu.