Chicago Brass Quintet
About Chicago Brass Quintet
Established in 1963, the Chicago Brass Quintet was created to promote the appreciation and enjoyment of brass chamber music through public performances, educational workshops, broadcasts, recordings, and commissioning new works. Its members were students at the Northwestern University School of Music.
The quintet has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Highlights have included guest performances for the International Trumpet Guild Conference in New York and London, a two-and-a-half-week tour of Hawaii, performances at the Kennedy Center, West Point Academy, numerous tours throughout Illinois and the Midwest, the South, and East Coast, and two tours of Brazil and Taiwan. The quintet has enjoyed a close association with Chicago's fine arts radio station, WFMT, often performing live from their studios for broadcast over National Public Radio and the CBC in Canada.
Ross Beacraft performs as principal trumpet with the Chicago Opera Theater, Concertante di Chicago, and the Elgin Symphony. In addition he often performed with the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Chicago's ballet and theater orchestras, and in many radio and television commercials. Beacraft, an Eastman School graduate, is coordinator of admissions for the DePaul University School of Music.
Trumpeter Matthew Lee is principal trumpet with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Light Opera Works Orchestra, and the Millar Brass Ensemble. A finalist in the Maurice Andre Solo Trumpet Competition in Paris, Lee also performs regularly with the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Western Illinois University and Northwestern University, he serves on the faculties of DePaul University and Elmhurst College.
Greg Flint, horn, performs frequently with the Lyric Opera and the Grant Park and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. He has toured with both Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin and enjoys performing a wide variety of music. A graduate of Northwestern University, Flint teaches at the DePaul University School of Music.
Trombonist James Mattern, founder of the Chicago Brass Quintet, has enjoyed a distinguished career as a performer, composer, and arranger, performing with the Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, Chicago's Contemporary Chamber Players, and Chicago's ballet and theater orchestras. A graduate of Lawrence University and Northwestern University, he has taught at Northern Illinois University and the DePaul University School of Music. His brass compositions and arrangements have been performed worldwide.
Dan Anderson is principal tuba with the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra and in many of Chicago's theater orchestras. A respected jazz bassist, he performs often with many of Chicago's finest jazz artists. A graduate of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, Anderson teaches at Columbia College and the DePaul University School of Music.
The quintet's commissions have added to the brass quintet literature new works by such composers as Cliff Colnot, James Mattern, Lawrence Rapchak, Dan Anderson, and J. Mark Scearce. Since 1981, the ensemble has released several recordings for the Crystal, Centaur, Delos, and Covenant labels. In March 1988 the Chicago Brass Quintet recorded a CD for GIA publications featuring the brass and choral music of Richard Proulx, former music director and composer-in-residence at Holy Name Cathedral.
The CBQ's repertoire embraces a wide range, including original pieces and transcriptions of masterworks from America, Western and Central Europe, the British Isles, and Russia, drawn from a span of many centuries. Arrangements of Broadway songs and jazz standards have also won them an appreciative following.