February 22, 2018  

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Rhythm and Brass Return to Southern Miss with a Bang

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Rhythm & Brass will be performing at Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 24. (Submitted photo)

University of Southern Mississippi alumnus Tom Brantley brings his trombone talents back to Hattiesburg, but this time with a collection of his talented friends that form Rhythm and Brass.

Part of the Connoisseur Series at the Southern Miss School of Music, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center. Thanks to a generous grant from Partners for the Arts, admission is free.

Audiences will remember Brantley, associate professor of trombone at the University of South Florida, from last year’s Triple Play concert with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra.

Since their inaugural season in 1993, Rhythm & Brass has shown the unique ability to incorporate influences as divergent as Josquin Des Prez, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Duke Ellington. Rhythm & Brass searches for the commonality in these influences and fearlessly weaves them all into a single concert experience that Entertainment Weekly called “smart and deliciously off-centered.”

“It’s always exciting to return to a place where you have so many roots,” said Brantley. “I am excited to have my friends and colleagues join me in a program that we hope the audience will love. Many of my family and friends are coming to hear me play again at my alma mater.”

Rhythm and Brass has also performed at numerous special events including a critically acclaimed 1994 New York concert debut at Carnegie Recital Hall with celebrated jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker.

The members maintain an active involvement in music education and are often found at major educators conferences and in residence at universities throughout the nation as well as summer music camps and festivals such as Bands of America (Music for All), Interlochen and the Brevard Music Center.

Joining Brantley are Charles Villarrubia, tuba, senior lecturer in chamber music at the University of Texas-Austin; David Gluck, percussion, assistant professor of studio composition, State University of New York-Purchase; Alex Shuhan, associate professor of horn, Ithaca College (NY); Rex Richardson: associate professor of trumpet and jazz trumpet, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Wiff Rudd: professor of trumpet/brass area coordinator, Baylor University.

The group will be joined by the Southern Miss faculty brass in an arrangement of Shostakovich’s rousing “Festive Overture.”

“Rhythm and Brass is world class ensemble that we are thrilled to have on campus,” said Ben McIlwain, visiting assistant professor of trombone at Southern Miss.