Archive for December, 2014

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Isthmus Brass Ensemble

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Season Listing | Program | Biography
Isthmus Brass Ensemble

Something special from Wisconsin! Directed by brass icon John Stevens, Isthmus Brass is Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble.  The players are a who’s who of University of Wisconsin professors, prominent music alumni and members of professional orchestras and ensembles. Established in 2009, the ensemble began with a series of Christmas concerts and soon took off, invited to perform in concert series and music festivals throughout the Midwest. Last year’s CD release, An Isthmus Brass Christmas, was warmly received. The repertoire spans Renaissance to Big Band Jazz.


Classics by Request

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on WPNE (FM) 89.3, WPR host Ruthanne Bessman plays listener’s classical requests on Classics by Request.

Listeners can submit their requests online at or call in toll free during the show at 800-442-7106. This is a great chance to get the word out about Brown County Civic Music Association and hear Isthmus Brass perform by requesting something from their CD, “Isthmus Brass Christmas” (Summit Records), which will be on sale at our concert. Some recordings on it are: “Fum, Fum, Fum,” “Fantasy on Ukrainian Bell Carol” “Trepak” (from “Nutcracker”), “Silent Night” and “What Child is This.” Be sure to mention that Isthmus Brass will be performing in Green Bay at the Ralph Holter Auditorium, West High School, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13.

Dine to Donate—Perkins Restaurants

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Perkins Restaurants will donate 10% of all sales between 5 and 8 p.m. to the Brown County Civic Music Association on the following designated evenings starting Wednesday, December 17.

  • The first and third Thursdays of each month at
    Perkins on South Oneida in Ashwaubenon
    2800 S Oneida St, Ashwaubenon, WI 54304
    (920) 592-0747
  • The third Wednesday of each month
    Perkins on the corner of Military and Shawano in West Green Bay
    100 N Military Ave, Green Bay, WI 54303
    (920) 499-7747

Tell your family, friends, and neighbors to take a break and have dinner at Perkins. You do not need to identify yourself as a Civic Music member. All diners are included in the donation! We could be in for some delicious fundraising results, and you can make it happen!

Christmas Smiles

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

We have joined a new program, AmazonSmile, that lets you help Brown County Music Association while shopping on Amazon. Why not use AmazonSmile when you do online holiday shopping – and online shopping year-round? With AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to charitable organizations you select. Here’s all you need to do to support Brown County Civic Music Association when you shop at AmazonSmile:

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in with your regular Amazon username and password.
  3. Select Brown County Civic Music Association.
  4. Shop like usual.

Isthmus Brass – Biography

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Season Listing | Program | Biography

Under the direction of brass-icon, John Stevens, and comprised of the finest professional brass players in the Midwestern United States, the ISTHMUS BRASS is Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble.  Established in 2009, the Isthmus Brass was formed in Madison when some of the best and busiest brass players in Southern Wisconsin looked for a way to collaborate and perform together.  They initially decided on a course of performing charitable Christmas Concerts especially for Porchlight, Inc. of Dane County (a benefit organization for the homeless). From there they have stepped on to the international stage; especially with a critically acclaimed Summit Records release, “Isthmus Brass Christmas” which has been heralded at “…one of the best” brass Christmas albums of all time.  The group is now active year-round and regularly presents concerts of varying styles and repertoire on concert series throughout the Midwest.

The Isthmus Brass Quintet & Percussion is a subset of the larger Isthmus Brass and often gives performances at many smaller venues and provides the teaching component from the larger ensemble in masterclass settings. Both groups promote the ideology of energy, entertainment, and eclecticism of virtuosic repertoire—much of it especially arranged for them—showcasing the best of brass music in a variety of musical settings and styles.

John Aley (Trumpet) is the Professor of Trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music and a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. He is the Principal Trumpet of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and a former member of the American Brass Quintet. He has also performed with other New York based ensembles such as Musica Sacra, American Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble and American Composers’ Orchestra. He can be heard on his solo trumpet recording, Autumn.

Ricardo Almeida (Horn) is a member of the horn section of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and performs extensively throughout Southern Wisconsin as a freelance hornist. Having first established himself throughout Europe as an orchestral horn player, Ricardo is equally proficient as a chamber musician and can be heard on Crystal Records with the NFB Horn Quartet and most recently on a new Albany Records release, “Alec Wilder: Four Suites.”

Alan Carr (Bass Trombone) is a Collins Fellow and DMA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Concordia University Wisconsin. Alan is an active performer, having appeared with the Baltimore, Dubuque, and Hartford Symphony Orchestras, the American Brass Quintet, and Ensemble ACJW of Carnegie Hall. For seven years, Alan was the bass trombonist for the King’s Brass and is also a founding member of the Sequenza Trombone Quartet. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, Yale University and the Peabody Conservatory and can be heard on Summit, Albany, and Naxos record labels.

Dylan Chmura-Moore (Trombone) is a performer and advocate of contemporary music and is currently the Orchestra Director and Professor of Low Brass at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Dylan is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral musician and recently has performed with Madison Symphony Orchestra, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Dal Niente, Isthmus Brass, Con Vivo!, and is the member of the brass quintet Ars Ventus.

Dave Cooper (Trumpet) is widely recognized as one of the most versatile trumpets players in the Midwest.  His performing affiliations include the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the New Breed Jazz Quintet, The Art Blakey Tribute Band, The Tim Whalen Nonet, and the Isthmus Brass. He is the Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and also Associate Professor of Trumpet.

Michael Dugan (Trombone) is the Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to his teaching duties, Mike is an active freelance artist throughout the Midwest. Recent engagements include the Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as appearances with many regional orchestras throughout Wisconsin and Iowa.

Mike Forbes (Tuba) is the Principal Tubist with the La Crosse Symphony and as the Tuba/Euphonium Professor at UW-La Crosse. He can also be heard as the tubist with the “Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band” on A Prairie Home Companion and with the internationally recognized, Sotto Voce Tuba Quartet. Mike’s compositions (especially for brass and band) are regularly performed around the world. He has recently released his second solo album on Summit Records featuring his own compositions (Forbes Plays Forbes).

Mark Hetzler (Trombone) is a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and performed with the Empire Brass from 1996-2012. He is the former Principal Trombone of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the Florida Orchestra.  Mark is a Valade Fellow teaching trombone and formerly chamber music at the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival.  He is the Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Edward Hong (Trumpet) is an Adjunct Instructor of Trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he also performs with the UW-Whitewater Faculty Brass Quintet. He holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa. He has also performed with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and currently plays with the Cooper Street Brass Quintet.

Keith Lienert (Percussion) is the percussion instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. His performing and teaching career credits include Disneyland’s Collegiate All-Star Show Band, Arizona State University, Arizona School for the Arts, and Elgin Community College in Illinois. He has performed in Southern Wisconsin with the Janesville Armory Dinner Theater, the Dubuque Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the PanGo Steel Drum Band from Chicago.

Jon Schipper (Trumpet) is an extremely active freelance trumpeter in Southeast Wisconsin and regularly performs with the Jeff Peronto Jazz Orchestra, Madisalsa, The Madison Jazz Orchestra, Joe Scalissi & The Dry Martinis, Four Seasons Theatre, and The Tim Whalen Nonet. He currently teaches instrumental band and general music at Madison Country Day School in Waunakee, WI, as well as the Jazz program at James Madison Memorial High School.

John Stevens (Conductor) has recently retired from the Tuba/Euphonium Professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also served twice as the Director of the School of Music and was a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, a UW-Madison faculty ensemble-in residence. Stevens has enjoyed a varied career as a teacher, orchestral, chamber music, solo and jazz performer and recording artist, composer/arranger, conductor and administrator.

Isthmus Brass – Program

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Season Listing | Program | Biography

Earle of Oxford’s March, William Byrd (1543-1623), Arr. Elgar Howarth

Nutcracker Suite, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Arr. Roger Harvey

Miniature Overture
Arab Dance
Chinese Dance

In The Bleak Midwinter, Gustav Holst (1874-1934), Arr. Roger Harvey

Festive Cheer, Traditional, Arr. Roger Harvey

— Intermission —

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, George Wyle (1916-2003), Arr. David Cooper

Three Carols, Arr. Roger Harvey

On Christmas Night, Traditional English Carol
Gabriel’s Message, Traditional Basque Carol
I Saw Three Ships, Traditional English Carol

Grown-Up Christmas List, David Foster (b. 1949), Featuring Abby Nichols, Vocalist

Mele Kalikimaka, R. Alex Anderson (1894-1995), Arr. Mike Forbes
Featuring Alan Carr, Bass Trombone as Bing Crosby
And Trombonists, Mark Hetzler, Dylan-Chmura Moore, and Mike Dugan
as the Andrew Sisters

Santa Baby, Joan Javits & Philip Springer, Arr. Iain Maxwell & David Cooper
Featuring Dave Cooper, Flugelhorn

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Richard Storrs Willis (1819-1900), Arr. Roger Harvey
Featuring the Trombone Section

Frosty the Snowman, Jack Rollins (1906-1973), Arr. Mike Forbes
Featuring Keith Lienert, Drums


John Stevens, UW-Madison (Emeritus)

John Aley, UW-Madison & Madison Symphony Orchestra
Dave Cooper, UW-Platteville & Madison Symphony Orchestra
Edward Hong, UW-Whitewater & Copper Street Brass Quintet
Jon Schipper, Madisalsa & Phat Phunktion

Ricardo Almeida, Madison Symphony Orchestra

Mark Hetzler, UW-Madison
Dylan Chmura-Moore, UW-Oshkosh
Mike Dugan, UW-Whitewater
Alan Carr, Concordia University Wisconsin

Mike Forbes, UW-La Crosse & La Crosse Symphony

Keith Lienert, UW-Platteville