Canadian Brass to Open OCU Concert Series

The Grammy Award-winning Canadian Brass will open the 2015 Distinguished Artists Series at Oklahoma City University with an 8 p.m. Feb. 6 concert in Petree Recital Hall.

The venue is in OCU's Bass School of Music at N.W. 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue. Tickets ($35, open seating) are available online at or from 405-208-5227. Group rates are available.

The sneaker-clad ensemble — founded in Toronto in 1970 — has performed in virtually every major concert hall in the world, recorded more than 100 albums over the past 45 years, and contributed 600 new works and arrangements to the repertoire, transforming the brass quintet into a vehicle for serious concert music.

Renowned for its genre-bending versatility and innovative performances, the group is led by founding tubist Chuck Daellenbach and features trumpeters Caleb Hudson and Christopher Coletti, trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos, and Bernhard Scully on horn. In addition to virtuosic musicianship, each player conveys the creativity, good humor and love of performing that is the group's hallmark.

OCU's Distinguished Artists Series will continue Feb. 17 with a rare performance of Franz Schubert's song cycle "Winterreise" (Winter Journey), which has haunted audiences since it debuted in 1827, the year before the composer's early death. The 24 songs detail the mental and physical deterioration of a dejected man who flees his hometown on the eve of his former fiancée's marriage to another. Tenor William Nield Christensen and pianist Jan McDaniel will perform the German-language cycle. The performance will incorporate imagery of the landscape of the Great Plains and American West, designed by filmmaker Alexander Knight and photographer M.J. Alexander, melding English translation with images suggested by the poetry. Tickets to the Mae Ruth Swanson Memorial Concert are $15.

The series concludes March 27 with the award-winning trio Horseshoe Road, which has established an eclectic musical style encompassing works from blues to bluegrass, gypsy jazz to western swing, country to gospel. The longtime collaboration — featuring OCU alumni Kyle Dillingham, violin, and guitarist Peter Markes, with bassist Brent Saulsbury — has created its own genre, described as Heartland Acoustic. Horseshoe Road opened for the Charlie Daniels Band in 2013 and for the Oak Ridge Boys in 2012, and was one of 12 groups chosen from 300 applicants to perform on a musical goodwill tour for the U.S. State Department.

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