Brass quintet that started out as a Philadelphia-based street band and has since become international successful, entertaining audiences in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and South America.
Their ranks have included horn player Marian Hesse, trombonist Larry Zimmerman, trumpeters Bruce Barrie, Susan Sexton and John Thomas, and tuba player Jay Krush.
They were prolific in the 1990s, appearing on recordings such as Brazen Cartographies, Listen to the Mocking Bird, The Music of Francis Johnson & His Contemporaries: Early 19th Century Black Composers, and Pastime with Good Company. Hornsmoke: The Music of Peter Schickele received a Grammy in the category of Best Classical Crossover Recording.
In the 2000s, they featured on more CDs, including Distant Dancing, Explore America, Gershwin: Super Hits, Irving Berlin: Berlin for Brass, Stephen Foster: Foster for Brass, and The Ultimate Christmas Album of All Time. On 17th November 2009, they joined forces with the HoodleBug Brass for a concert in Indiana University’s Gorell Recital Hall. They participated in the 2010 Vintage Band Festival, which was hosted by the township of Northfield, Minnesota. This was right up their alley, because one of the band’s selling points is their frequent use of period instruments, including cornetti, keyed bugles, ophicliedes, a pre-Civil War trombone, sackbuts, and saxhorns.
Their repertoire, however, is not restricted to early American or Renaissance. They are champions of contemporary music and have commissioned works from Theodore Antoniou, Paul Basler, Leslie Bassett, Jan Krzywicki, Peter Schickele, Eric Stokes, and Richard Wernick.
For their efforts, they have won awards from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
They have been heard on radio networks throughout the world, including Bavarian State Radio, Korean National Television, National Public Radio, Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America. On NPR, they have been featured on All Things Considered, Fresh Air, Performance Today, and Radiotimes.
Their adventures have taken them to Academie Internationale de Musique, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Alice Tully Hall, the Boston Museum of Art, the Chautauqua Institute, Gasteig, the Julliard School, the Kennedy Center, Merkin Concert Hall, National Music Camp, and Wolf Trap Farm.
In the field of music education, they have created a program titled Hot Air: the Story of Brass Instruments, which the Kennedy Center hand-picked for their own educational program. You may have heard the Chestnut Brass Company without even knowing it.
Their recordings have been used on documentaries such as A House Divided and Pinehurst, the History of Golf. Other CDs on which they appear include For God and Country, Hail to the Chief!, A Heritage of Hymns: Classic Recordings of the Great Songs of Faith and Inspiration, Opening Night, and Tippecanoe and Tyler Too: A Collection of American Political Marches, Songs, and Dirges.
Chestnut Brass Company recordings
O Come, All Ye Faithful (Frederick Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
Arranger – John Rutter
Choral Guild of Atlanta
Conductor – Anthony Newman
(CD: The Joy of Christmas: A Celebration of the Spirit of Christmas)