5 by 5: Five All-Female Brass Quintets

This Friday, we thought we’d mix it up a little and share five groups of five people: five brass quintets with entirely female members! We love how each of these ensembles has its own distinct identity and goals.

1. Stiletto Brass

© Maundy Mitchell Photography

Amy Gilreath and Cathy Leach, trumpets; Misty Tolle, horn; Nicole Abissi, trombone; and Velvet Brown, tuba.

The Stiletto Brass Quintet is a leading ensemble and has performed with Doc Severinsen and the Heartland Festival Orchestra, at the International Women’s Brass Conference, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, The National Trumpet Competition, the Great American Brass Band Festival and concerts in New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Oregon. They have a broad, diverse repertoire and often perform wearing their signature red stiletto heels.

2. Seraph Brass

Mary Elizabeth Bowden, Amy McCabe, Raquel Rodriquez, Jean Laurenz, and Katie Miller, trumpets; Rachel Velvikis, horn; Hana Beloglavec and Donna Parkes trombones; Joanna Ross Hersey and Gretchen Renshaw, tubas.

From http://www.seraphbrass.com:
Seraph Brass is a dynamic brass quintet drawing from a roster of America’s top female brass players. Committed to engaging audiences with captivating programming, Seraph Brass presents a diverse body of repertoire that includes original transcriptions, newly commissioned works, and well-known classics. Seraph will release their debut studio album, Asteria, on Summit Records in January 2018.

3. Belle Air Brass

The Belle Air Brass, who have been performing in Los Angeles since 1991, combine comedy with their musical performance! The ensemble is led by trumpeter Deb Wagner.

4. Calliope Brass Quintet

Rebecca Steinberg and Kate Umble Smucker, trumpets; Erin Paul, horn; Sara Mayo, trombone; Jennifer Hinkle, bass trombone.

The Calliope Brass Quintet, based in New York, “plays repertoire ranging from jazz to classical, pops to swing, and everything in between.” In addition to diverse collaborations and wide-ranging repertoire, Calliope focuses heavily on educational initiatives.

5. Eastwomen Brass Quintet

Yoojeong Kim and Katie Hillstrom, trumpets; Kira Goya, horn; Miriam Snyder, trombone; Tessa Nojaim, tuba.

The Eastwomen Brass Quintet is a relatively new ensemble consisting of current rising second-year undergraduate students at the Eastman School of Music. The group strives “to explore and promote the works of female composers, all while looking to inspire other young female brass players to pursue a career in music!”

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