Composer creates ‘Sounds of St. Louis’ for low brass

The St. Louis Low Brass Collective features trombone, euphonium, baritone horn and tuba. The collective commissioned Barbara Harbach, professor of music at UMSL, to compose an original piece to be performed Jan. 17 at the Low Brass Spectacular Gala Concert.

Barbara Harbach has composed symphonies, musicals, film scores and ballets. She’s written for string orchestras, organ and harpsichord. Now the professor of music at the University of Missouri–St. Louis can add composition for trombone, euphonium, baritone horn and tuba to her credits.

The St. Louis Low Brass Collective commissioned Harbach to write an original piece for the nonprofit collective’s fourth annual Low Brass Spectacular Gala Concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd. in St. Louis (63108).

Harbach described her piece, “The Sounds of St. Louis – A Suite in One Movement,” as a free-flowing “stream of St. Louis consciousness” featuring 12 short sections. On Friday’s episode of “Cityscape,” a program on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU, she discussed how she combined elements of the Civil War-era song “Missouri! Missouri! Bright Land of the West,” the folksong “Shenandoah (Away, I’m bound Away ‘cross the wide Missouri)” and W.C. Handy’s classic “St. Louis Blues.”

In the same interview, St. Louis Low Brass Collective founder Gerry Pagano, who is also bass trombonist for St. Louis Symphony, recalled how the collective was born out of a low brass master class taken at UMSL.

“It just started as that one kernel of an idea that someone thought (playing in the UMSL master class) was so much fun that we should just keep doing it,” Pagano told St. Louis Public Radio.

Tuba virtuoso Patrick Sheridan will be the Low Brass Spectacular Gala Concert’s featured performer. Other performers will include members of the St. Louis Symphony trombone section, the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America and the area’s finest low brass musicians, including faculty members from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, UMSL, Washington University in St. Louis and Webster University (Webster Groves, Mo.).

This concert is free and open to the public.


Short URL: