Getting In the Spirit with Seraph Brass



On December 15 and 16, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota welcomes the all-women’s ensemble Seraph Brass to the Asolo Repertory Theatre for Classical Holiday Brass. Featuring festive favorites from classics like “The Nutcracker,” this quintet ushers in the holiday season with appropriate fanfare. “We have a lot of exciting works to share with the audience to get everyone in the holiday spirit,” says Seraph Brass founder Mary Elizabeth Bowden, who will also appear on the trumpet.

The one-hour recital consists of seasonal grooves that fit perfectly to the brass sound including works from Vivaldi, Grieg and Liszt, as well as selections from “Bells of Christmas” and “Joy to the World,” and will feature solos from the horn, tuba and trumpet. A showcase in versatility, the women performers of Seraph Brass master what is, according to Bowden, both masculine and feminine styles of play. “Playing brass instruments, you have to be able to play very strong at times, but you also have to able to play with a lot of other sound color and be able to show that the brass can be very beautiful and lyrical as well,” says Bowden.

Bowden’s image for an all-women’s line up was a lifelong dream but didn’t shape into a harmonious group until 2014. With the album Asteria debuting last season, Seraph Brass is here with multiple objectives. “Our main focus is to play music at the highest level,” says Bowden, “but women are still underrepresented in the brass world but it’s definitely getting better.” The band also collaborates with women conductors to assist in writing music to increase representation. And as an added bonus, Bowden loves being an inspiration to the younger generation. “The most exciting part for me is when younger girls in band come to see our concert and they are very excited because there aren’t a lot of groups that are all-female brass groups,” Bowden continues. “We are hoping to act as role models for them.”

Make sure to stay until the end of the concert to experience an encore performance from a secret guest.

Classical Holiday Brass comes to Asolo Repertory Theatre December 15 and 16, tickets are on sale.

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