Achieving musical greatness through collaboration

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By Kirsten Laskey

Great things can be accomplished through collaboration. So expect the music notes to fly in grand fashion when two groups join forces during the upcoming Brown Bag concert, which will be held at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.


The Amrahn Trio and the Black Mesa Brass will perform in the free concert, which is sponsored by the Los Alamos Arts Council.

The players in the Amrahn Trio include Cindy Little, pianist; Louise Mendius, soprano; and John Hargreaves, French horn player.

Jan McDonald, trumpet player; Bruce Letellier, trumpet; Hargreaves, Larry Bronisz, trombone player; and Jerry Morzinski, tuba player; make up Black Mesa Quintet. The Amraham Trio will take the stage first. Hargreaves said the trio plans to perform a number of pieces including “Amor Funesto” by Gaetano Doniceeti, “Le Soir” by Charles Gountounod and “Chocolate Kisses” by Eric Street.

Hargreaves said three of the four pieces the trio will be performing for the first time in Los Alamos. “So they are the new works that we have developed,” he said. “Besides the fact they’re fun.”

For the second half of the show, Black Mesa Brass will cover arrangements of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” and a piece by Reinassiance composer Diego Ortiz. The music with continue will “A Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie, which will feature Bronisz on trombone, and “Western Fanfare” by Eric Ewazen. “Our concert is going to be a variety of pieces and some of them are transcriptions of great American tunes that are arranged or transcribed for brass quintet – the medium of brass quintet,” McDonald said. “And other pieces are transcriptions of great American tunes that are arranged or transcribed for brass quintet.”

Playing everything from American classics to Renaissance works offers great variety, he added.

“We like to provide a variety of musical styles and sounds for the audience so we’re not playing all one style and these are pieces that relate to the audience real well and they show off certain elements of the brass quintet that are real nice,” McDonald said.

Sharing the stage is also a real treat.

“I am looking forward to hearing the trio just because they are so good,” McDonald said.

“I am enjoying the fact that it will be a very contrasting program … a lot of variety.”

Since he is performing in both groups, Hargreaves has a different view.

“I guess I don’t describe it as a fun experience” he joked, “it’s a lot of work.”

However, “performing beautiful work is rewarding,” Hargreaves said, “it’s rewarding hopefully for the audience and also for us the performers.”

McDonald agreed. “There’s nothing quite so special as live concerts. One can Youtube all kinds of concerts … but there is nothing like coming out to a live concert.”

 “It’s just a special treat to have live music and a live concert,” he said.