The American Brass Quintet is in town presenting a couple of concerts with members of the Chicago Chamber Artists. I first met the ABQ at the Aspen Music Festival during the summer of 1999. That was a great summer for me: I studied for the first time with Ray Mase (trumpet in the ABQ), won the brass concerto competition, got to perform my piece with the orchestra under the big music tent, and was a member of a great brass quintet coached by John Rojak (ABQ bass trombonist) that played regularly outside in downtown Aspen. A little over a year later I had transferred to Juilliard, where the ABQ is in residence, and got to work with all five of its members on a regular basis. Playing in a brass quintet became one of my favorite musical activities, and after my graduation in 2002 I continued to keep in touch with the ABQ; running into them a few times when they came to perform and teach in Utah. It was a thrill to see and hear them all again yesterday, and I can't wait for their concert tonight!
I feel privileged to have had so many great teachers all the way from grade school through the present, and wish to express my gratitude to all of them for their exceptional care and inspiration. Nothing quite compares to the influence a good teacher can have on a young life and I would not be here today without each of their contributions.