Sat­urday, Feb. 1, stu­dents, faculty, and public alike will have the oppor­tunity to enjoy an evening of pro­fes­sional musical arrangement. At 8 p.m., a clas­sical and jazz brass quintet known as Boston Brass will perform in Markel Audi­torium in the Sage Center for the Arts.
Twenty-seven years ago, Boston Brass began the career that has since launched them to top per­for­mance plat­forms such as “The CBS Early Show,” National Public Radio’s “Per­for­mance Today,” and “The Great American Brass Band Festival.”
The group’s success comes to a great extent from their ability to merge clas­sical and jazz styles devel­oping a cap­ti­vating sound, and the members of the group are as diverse as their musical offerings. Boston Brass boasts artists who hail from Venezuela, Costa Rica, Las Vegas, Miami, and of course, Boston.
In addition to their per­for­mance, Boston Brass will also teach a mas­ter­class for the Hillsdale College brass quintet on the same Sat­urday at 11 a.m. The Hillsdale quintet is com­posed of freshman Conor Woodfin and sophomore Andrew Zeiler on trumpet, freshmen Michael Zabik on French horn, Hank Prim on baritone, and Braden Kelley on tuba.
“They’re just getting started,” Teacher of Music and Director of Jazz Ensembles Chris McCourry said. “They’re playing mostly Renais­sance-style music, late Baroque, which is what they should be working on right now.”
Director of the Music Department James Holleman invited Boston Brass to campus in hopes of boosting interest in brass quintets.
McCourry said that student interest also sup­ported the plan, espe­cially the brass ensembles who will get to see pro­fes­sionals first-hand.
“That was Jim’s idea to get this thing going. Sort of a ‘let’s see what we can do to get them excited.’ Giving them a goal like ‘you’re going to play in front of pro­fes­sionals’ has really made them work and given them focus.”
McCourry said he is also excited for the oppor­tunity pre­sented to the stu­dents in the quintet, who he says have had a rough start but are pushing forward. The improvement in the devel­oping groups has also been encour­aging for student and instructor alike, according to McCourry.
“Everybody’s been saying how great the trumpet ensemble’s sounding, but when we started that group, it was ter­rible,” he said. “Even the guys who started the group were like, ‘when is this going to sound like any­thing?’ And four years later, after they’ve been working and working on it, they just sound great. It’s the quintet’s first year, and Conor’s a freshman, so they’re just getting started.”
In light of the rocky start the quintet has had, McCourry spoke opti­misti­cally  about the long-term goals of the young quintet.
“They struggled, but I think that inviting Boston Brass is a great idea because the stu­dents are pretty excited about it,” McCourry said. “When I was in school, my greatest joy was playing with my quintet. We’re hoping to get that going with the stu­dents so that they can enjoy and expe­rience that. Like any­thing, we just want to see them get better and stronger. We’re just trying to build and keep it growing.”

To get more infor­mation about the event and reserve tickets, contact the box office at 517 – 607-2848.