Learn about our NEW Winter Chamber Series
Isthmus Brass, a group of eleven local musicians similar in size to the famous Philip Jones Ensemble, will delight and thrill you with their assortment of holiday favorites in arrangements for brass and orchestra. With something for the whole family from Santa Baby, Mele Kalikimaka, to Feliz Navidad. The Middleton High School choir will also join us in a longstanding tradition for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Get ready for this joyous and happy celebration of the holidays.
Additional concert at 8pm
Isthmus Brass Biography
Under the direction of brass-icon, John Stevens, and comprised of the finest professional brass players in the Midwest, the Isthmus Brass is Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble. Named for a strip of land between the lakes of Mendota and Monona in Madison the IB was established in 2009 as some of the most high profile brass players in the region looked for a way to collaborate and perform together. They initially decided on a course of performing charitable Christmas Concerts especially for the Porchlight Homeless Charity and at retirement homes in Madison. Since then the group has taken off on the professional concert circuit and is currently being selected to perform on concert series and music festivals throughout the Midwest.
John Stevens (conductor) has enjoyed a varied career as a teacher, orchestral, chamber music, solo and jazz performer and recording artist, composer/arranger, conductor and administrator. He is a former Director of the School of Music and former Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Wisconsin Madison. John retired from teaching in 2014 and is a prolific composer, especially for brass. John can be heard on his solo album,Reverie
John Aley (trumpet) is the Professor of Trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music and a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. He is a former member of the American Brass Quintet and has performed with other New York based ensembles such as Musica Sacra, American Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble and American Composers' Orchestra. He can be heard on his solo trumpet recording, Autumn.
Dave Cooper (trumpet) is widely recognized as one of the most versatile trumpets players in the Midwest. His performing affiliations include the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the New Breed Jazz Quintet, The Art Blakey Tribute Band, The Tim Whalen Nonet, and the Isthmus Brass. He is the Chair of the Music Department and Associate Professor of Trumpet at University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He can be heard on his albums on his blog page: AllThingsTrumpet.com
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. His chamber music credits include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble, the Chicago Brass Quintet, the Fulcrum Point New Music Ensemble and the Summit Brass.
Jon Schipper (trumpet) is an extremely active freelance trumpeter in Southeast Wisconsin and regularly performs with the Jeff Peronto Jazz Orchestra, Madisalsa, The Madison Jazz Orchestra, Joe Scalissi & The Dry Martinis, Four Seasons Theatre, and The Tim Whalen Nonet. He currently teaches instrumental band and general music at Madison Country Day School in Waunakee, WI, as well as the Jazz program at James Madison Memorial High School.
Ricardo Almeida (horn) is a member of the horn section of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and performs extensively throughout Southern Wisconsin as a freelance hornist. Having first established himself throughout Europe as an orchestral horn player, Ricardo is equally proficient as a chamber musician and can be heard on Crystal Records with the NFB Horn Quartet and a new Albany Records release of music by Alec Wilder.
Mark Hetzler (trombone) was born in Sarasota, Florida in 1968 and began playing his father's trombone at the age of twelve. He received degrees from Boston University and the New England Conservatory of Music. Mark was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and completed a three-year fellowship with the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. As a member of the Empire Brass Quintet from 1996-2012, Mark recorded on the Telarc label, was featured on numerous live television and radio performances and concertized on five continents in eighteen countries. Mark has released seven solo recordings on the Summit Records label. His eighth recording They Said... (due out in March 2015) is a studio venture which features his experimental rock/jazz ensemble Sinister Resonance. Former Principal Trombone of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Mark has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the Florida Orchestra. He is the Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet.
Dylan Chmura-Moore (trombone) is Assistant Professor of Music at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where he teaches trombone and serves as Director of Orchestral Activities, conducting the University Symphony Orchestra. Dylan has recently performed with Madison Symphony Orchestra, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, Dal Niente, and Con Vivo!. Dylan can be heard on Mode, Summit, EuroArts, Albany, TZADIK, and the Accentus record label.
Michael Dugan (trombone) is the Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to his teaching duties, Mike is an active freelance artist in the Upper Midwest. Recent engagements include the Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as many fine regional orchestras throughout Wisconsin and Iowa.
Mark Hoelscher (bass trombone) is a member of the Chicago-based Millar Brass Ensemble and is an Edwards artist/clinician. He freelances with groups in the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison areas and is an active teacher and coach. He also serves as the Adjunct Professor of Trombone at the Peck School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Mike Forbes (tuba) is the founder and leader of the Isthmus Brass and is currently the Principal Tubist with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and a tuba/euphonium professor at UW-La Crosse. He is also a founding member of the internationally recognized Sotto Voce Tuba Quartet and can also occasionally be heard as the tubist with the “Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band” on A Prairie Home Companion. A prolific writer, Mike’s arrangements and compositions (especially for brass and wind band) are regularly played around the world. He can be heard his Summit Records solo albums, Forbes Plays Forbes and Forbes Plays Koetsier, or with Sotto Voce on their five albums.
Keith Lienert (percussion) is the percussion instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. His performing and teaching career credits include Disneyland’s Collegiate All-Star Show Band, Arizona State University, Arizona School for the Arts, and Elgin Community College in Illinois. He has performed in Southern Wisconsin with the Janesville Armory Dinner Theater, the Dubuque Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the PanGo Steel Drum Band from Chicago.