Axiom Brass worth weight in gold
The award-winning Axiom Brass Quintet were greeted with a round of applause as they walked on stage at the Doc Rando Recital Hall on campus Thursday night.
The brass group performed to an audience varying in age as part of the UNLV Chamber Music Series.
The suave Chicago-based troupe dressed in black suits consisted of Dorival Puccini Jr. (trumpet), Matthew Oliphant (horn), Kevin Harrison (tuba), Ross Hoksbergen (trumpet) and Caleb Lambert (trombone).
The show, which began a little after 7:30 p.m., included contemporary and classical arrangements of chamber music, or instrumental music performed by a small ensemble, by composers such as Bernard Brands, Johann Sebastian Bach and Astor Piazzolla.
Axiom Brass also dedicated a Joan Tower piece, “Brass Thunder” to the recent passing of fellow Chicago musician and mentor, Deborah Sobol. However, this personal loss didn’t hinder their performance.
The show was intimate as the perform ers gave witty commentary after each piece they played. The group did musically well for their field of music. Every note played during the concert resonated with zest and precision throughout recital hall’s acoustically-crafted interior.
Although the group was scheduled to end around 9:30 p.m, they came back on stage to perform one more song before having a meet-and-greet with audience members in the outside lobby.
Axiom Brass, known for their diverse repertoire of music spanning styles such as jazz, classical music and original arrangements for brass quintet, have a lengthy resume of achievements such as being the only brass group in 27 years to win the renowned Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition (2012) and the only American group to win the Preis der Europa-Stadt Passau in Germany (2012).
The musicians also worked with brass music students attending UNLV the previous day.
“We were completely thrilled and honored to work with them,” Puccini said in between songs.
Educating future musicians has been an integral part of the group’s career.
In 2010, the quintet launched a program called Music For All, which is designed to bring music education to underprivileged communities. The program is 100 percent funded by their merchandise sales.
The group has brought educational opportunities to various locations around the world including Kenai, Alaska and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Next on the group’s rigorous schedule will be a week long residency in Jackson Hole, Wyo. as part of a which will include a performance at the Grand Teton Music Festival and educational performances.
One more musical of performance of the UNLV Chamber Music Series, Three Times Four, is scheduled for Feb. 20.