SU Brass Ensemble at Utica’s Grace Episcopal Sunday

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The Syracuse University Brass Ensemble will perform at Grace Episcopal Church in Utica at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The concert is free and open to the public. Parking for the landmark church, on the corner of Genesee and Elizabeth Streets in downtown Utica, is available in nearby off-street lots.

The Syracuse University Brass Ensemble is a group of 35 professional-level brass and percussion musicians and includes Syracuse University faculty, staff and alumni, State University of New York Upstate Medical University faculty and staff, and accomplished musicians from upstate New York communities. James T. Spencer directs the group.

The group is a permanent ensemble-in-residence through the College of Arts and Sciences and Hendricks Chapel. The ensemble performs about 16 concerts each year throughout central New York. The ensemble has performed at the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival and the Great American Brass Band Festival and has twice placed first in the North American Brass Band Association Championship Festival.

The ensemble’s repertoire includes music from all major musical periods and often features new compositions commissioned by nationally known composers. The ensemble has premiered several dozen new compositions and arrangements, most recently “In Praise of Science,” written for the ensemble by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward.

“We are very fortunate to have this outstanding ensemble make a return visit to Grace Church,” said Bruce Smith, the organist and choirmaster at Grace. “Their previous concert was a wonderful family event that shared the talents of these musicians with our Central New York music-lovers. The dedication of the members of the ensemble comes through in every piece of music they play.”

Smith noted that Grace Church has an active music program that includes adult and youth choirs, adult and youth handbell choirs, and special performances from guest musicians as well as its members, including the church Karen choir.

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