Archive for April, 2016

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Isthmus Brass Ensemble

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Season Listing | Program | Biography
Isthmus Brass Ensemble

Back by popular demand! Last year’s holiday-season concert by Isthmus Brass Ensemble was so popular we’ve invited them back for an April concert and a deeper dive into their audience-pleasing repertoire. Led by brass icon and former UW Music School director 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.

Isthmus Brass – April 2016 e-Notes

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

After starting the season with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Ensemble, we changed direction — two toe-tapping, hand-clapping concerts featuring squeezeboxes galore with the Accordion Virtuosi of Russia and then a repeat performance by the highly popular Quartetto Gelato.

On April 23, we will continue the trend with an encore performance by the Madison-based Isthmus Brass Ensemble. They last appeared on our stage in December 2014. You — our members — enjoyed that concert so much that you joined the musicians in asking for a repeat engagement. You spoke. We listened. Here they come!

This month we also unveil our 2016-17 season. It includes chamber and brass groups, a trio, a male a cappella ensemble and, of course, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. We are confident that you will enjoy these five concerts for the bargain price of $80 for the season. We offer early membership incentives and a bonus concert for new members.

We also remind you that we have numerous opportunities to volunteer and that your financial contributions help make these concerts a vital part of the Green Bay cultural scene.

You can also join fellow music lovers at a post-concert reception at Titletown Brewing Co. and for monthly dining at Perkins, Military and Shawano, Green Bay. So many opportunities, for fun and fellowship. Please tell your family, friends, neighbors — even strangers on the street about Brown County Civic Music Association.

We look forward to joining you April 23 for the exciting Isthmus Brass concert as well as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on May 21 — and all next season.

Now, whet your appetite for the upcoming performance by Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble by checking out the program and player bios.

Chamber group, brass and men’s a capella groups, trio and MSO highlight Brown County Civic Music Association season

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (April 22, 2016) — A chamber ensemble based in Florida, a Boston brass group and men’s a capella sextet with Green Bay ties, a classical trio, and a Wisconsin treasure — the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra — will perform during Brown County Civic Music Association’s 2016-17 concert season.

The season will open Sept. 17 with the Chrysalis Chamber Players, emerging stars of the vibrant South Florida concert scene. The musicians combine impeccable technique and energetic musicality. They are led by co-founder Mary Bowden, who entered college at age 14 and earned a master’s at the Yale School of Music. She is an elite trumpeter and featured soloist with classical symphonies around the world.

We will follow up on Oct. 29 with the brash and brassy Boston Brass Quintet. Their dazzling musicianship and entertaining stage presence delights audiences with a repertoire that ranges from formal classical arrangements to swinging jazz standards. “They played with brash abandon at times, then with feathery gentleness,” wrote one reviewer. Boston Brass has performed with orchestras worldwide, on a series of successful albums, and on NPR and the CBS Early Show.

Just in time for Christmas, Chapter Six will perform sacred Christian and holiday favorites on Dec. 10. The Indiana-based group got its start by winning the collegiate a cappella competition for Milliken University in Decatur, Ill. These standout vocalists turned professional and kept on winning awards, acclaim and concert bookings far and wide. The members include Bayport High School graduate Nathan Pufall.

Our performers will return to the stage on March 4, 2017, with the Manhattan Piano Trio. Don’t let the name fool you, they are truly an international group featuring San Francisco native Wayne Lee on the violin; Reykjavik, Iceland, native Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir on cello, and Moldova native Milana Strezeva on piano. They have earned rave reviews from top critics, reflected in their busy recording schedule and regular dates at prestigious venues including Alice Tully Hall and the Ravinia Festival.

The season will close on May 6, 2017, for the tenth straight year with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The MSO is considered one of the nation’s leading orchestras. Under the direction of Maestro Edo de Waart, the 68 full-time professionals of the MSO have earned glowing reviews for their performances of works by Ravel, Handel, Beethoven Mozart, Schubert, Bernstein and Prokofiev.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ralph Holter Auditorium at Green Bay West High School. A season ticket for the five concerts is $80 for adults and $25 for students. Tickets are available online and individual concert tickets are sold at the door.

As an incentive to new members, those who buy a 2016-17 membership by this season’s final concert, May 21 with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, may attend that concert as a special bonus — six concerts for the price of five.

For more information, contact the Brown County Civic Music Association at (920) 338-1801 or by e-mail at The website is and


Announcing the 2016-17 season

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

The Brown County Civic Music Association is pleased to announce the 2016-17 concert season. Click here 2016-17 season brochure (pdf).

Saturday, September 17: Chrysalis Chamber Players

Saturday, October 29:  Boston Brass Quintet

Saturday, December 10:  Chapter Six

Saturday, March 4, 2017:  Manhattan Piano Trio

Saturday, May 6, 2017:  Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra


All performances in the 2016-17 season:

  • are at Ralph Holter Auditorium
  • Green Bay West High School
  • begin at 7:30 p.m. (auditorium doors open at 7 p.m.)
  • are general admission seating

Early membership incentives

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Purchase a membership – new or renewal – by June 1 and be automatically entered in a drawing to win one of four restaurant gift certificates from program advertisers:

  • Alpha Delights
  • Mackinaws
  • Titletown Brewing Company
  • Union Hotel

The winner will be notified by phone and/or email.

Bonus concert


Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – Edo de Waart Music Director

New memberships for 2016-17 include a free bonus concert, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Memberships must be paid prior to the MSO concert, right up to concert time that evening.


2016-17 membership will be available for online purchase, soon at

By Mail

Mail a check and the brochure membership form to:

Brown County Civic Music Association
P.O. Box 5243
De Pere, WI 54115-5243

By check, in person

In person by check at the concert on Saturday, May 21, 2016

Doors: 7 p.m. Concert: 7:30 p.m.
Ralph Holter Auditorium
Green Bay West High School
966 Shawano Avenue
Green Bay, WI

Isthmus Brass Program

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Season Listing | Program | Biography

Music for the Royal Fireworks—George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)
Arr. Christopher Mowat

Don Giovanni’s Ride To Hell—Jan Koetsier (1911-2006) Featuring Mike Forbes, Tuba

Clair de Lune—Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Featuring Keith Lienert, Steel Pan
Arr. Christopher Mowat/Mike Forbes

Var. on “The Carnival of Venice”—Jean-Baptiste Arban (1825 – 1889)
Featuring Dave Cooper, Trumpet, Arr. Dave Cooper

Jealously—Jacob Gade (1879-1963)
Arr. Richard Bissill


Torque—Mike Forbes (b. 1973)

Benediction—John Stevens (b. 1951)

Concert Etude—Alexander Goedicke (1877-1957)
Featuring Mark Hetzler, Trombone—Arr. Roger Harvey

Tico-Tico—Zequinha de Abreu (1880-1935) Featuring Don Sipe, Trumpet
Arr. John Iveson

I Only Have Eyes For You—Harry Warren (1893-1981) Featuring Mark Hoelscher, Bass Trombone & Dave Cooper, Trumpet
Arr. Roger Harvey

I Got Rhythm—George Gershwin (1898-1937)   Featuring Ricardo Almeida, Horn & Mike Forbes, Tuba
Arr. Roger Harvey

Isthmus Brass – Biographies

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Season Listing | Program | Biography

Isthmus Brass Personnel

CONDUCTOR: John Stevens, UW-Madison (Emeritus)


Dave Cooper, UW-Platteville & Madison Symphony

Don Sipe, Carrol University

Jon Schipper, Madisalsa & Phat Phunktion

Brent Turney, UW-Stevens Point

HORN: Ricardo Almeida, Madison Symphony Orchestra


Mark Hetzler, UW-Madison

Dylan Chmura-Moore, UW-Oshkosh

Mike Dugan, UW-Whitewater

Mark Hoelscher, UW-Milwaukee

TUBA: Mike Forbes, UW-La Crosse & La Crosse Symphony

PERCUSSION: Keith Lienert, UW-Platteville

Under the direction of brass-icon, John Stevens, and comprised of the finest professional brass players in the Midwestern US, the Isthmus Brass is Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble. Isthmus Brass was established in 2009, through the collaboration of the best and busiest brass players in Southern Wisconsin. They initially performed charitable Christmas concerts but now are active year-round, presenting concerts of varying styles and repertoire in concert series throughout the Midwest. They 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. Their recent, critically-acclaimed Summit Records release of “Isthmus Brass Christmas” was heralded as “…one of the best brass Christmas albums of all time” by American Record Guide.

Member Biography

Ricardo Almeida (horn) is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and performs extensively throughout Southern Wisconsin as a freelance hornist and chamber musician.

Dylan Chmura-Moore (trombone) is Assistant Professor of Music at UW-Oshkosh where he teaches trombone and serves as Director of Orchestral Activities, conducting the University Symphony Orchestra.

Dave Cooper (trumpet) is the Chair of the Department of Music at UW-Platteville and also Associate Professor of Trumpet.

Michael Dugan (trombone) is the Associate Professor of Trombone at UW-Whitewater and has appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Mike Forbes (tuba) is the founder and manager of the Isthmus Brass. He is also the Principal Tubist with the La Crosse Symphony and the Instructor of Low Brass at UW-La Crosse.

Mark Hetzler (trombone) is the Associate Professor of Trombone at UW-Madison, a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, and a member of the Empire Brass Quintet from 1996-2012.

Mark Hoelscher (bass trombone) is a member of the Chicago-based Millar Brass Ensemble, an Edwards artist/clinician and Adjunct Professor of Trombone at UW-Parkside and UW-Milwaukee Peck School of Music.

Keith Lienert (percussion) is percussion instructor at UW-Platteville. His performing and teaching career credits include Disneyland’s Collegiate All-Star Show Band and Arizona State University.

Jon Schipper (trumpet) is Director of Bands and Music Dept. Chair at Madison Country Day School in Waunakee, WI and an active freelance trumpeter.

Don Sipe (trumpet) is a member of Present Music, Stained Glass Brass, the Wilson Center Big Band, and the Milwaukee Brass Quintet. He teaches trumpet at Carroll University and conducts the Brass Choir at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

John Stevens (conductor) has recently retired from the Tuba/Euphonium Professorship at UW-Madison and served twice as the Director of the School of Music.

Brent Turney (trumpet) is an active cross-genre soloist and ensemble player throughout the country and has been Professor of Trumpet at UW-Stevens Point since 2007.

Learn more about the artists at:

Classics by Request

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Every Saturday from 10 am to 11 am on WPNE, 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 the Isthmus Brass Ensemble perform. Be sure to mention that the Isthmus Brass will be performing at the Brown County Civic Music Association Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in Ralph Holter Auditorium at West High School, Green Bay.

Post-Concert Reception

Sunday, April 17th, 2016


You’re invited to meet and greet the performers and your concert-going friends at Titletown Brewing Company and nibble on complimentary snacks after the concert. A big thanks to the Titletown Brewing Company for providing the space and the snacks.

Location: Titletown Brewing Company, 200 Dousman St, Green Bay, WI

We need your support

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Special thanks go to Donald Salmon, our newest Patron Donor. Please remember Brown County Civic Music Association in your charitable giving. Your support is essential in helping us meet our mission of presenting an annual series of affordably priced concerts performed by outstanding professional artists and ensembles from around the world. We also invite you to remember Brown County Civic Music Association in your estate planning. Brown County Civic Music Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We have been bringing world-renowned performers to Green Bay since 1927. To support BCCMA or learn more, see our Support page.