UNO to hold its first Brass Day at Strauss Performing Arts

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By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer

On Feb. 7, UNO’s Strauss Performing Arts center will host its first all day brass event.

Dr. Peter Madsen, who has helped to organize the event, said that for the past 11 years UNO has hosted a low brass day as a recruiting and outreach event.

Madsen felt this would be a good event to host at UNO because he himself has been involved in similar events on other campuses across the country as a guest artist and clinician.

“I knew we could do a great job hosting a similar event at UNO,” Madsen said. “With the addition of Jason Johnson to our faculty this year as our full time trumpet teacher, it seemed like a logical time to expand the event to include all brass instruments.”

Madsen feels this is an important event because it is designed to give high school students opportunities they might not have otherwise. The event is set up to give “outstanding high school brass players” a chance to be exposed to the challenges of working with an ensemble.

“Throughout the day, students will focus on the fundamental skills required for good brass playing, attend professional concerts and work with experts on their chosen instruments,” Madsen said.

The event also gives students an opportunity to practice their skills under the guidance of UNO faculty.

“It’s also a great chance for us to showcase the great opportunities that the UNO music department offers to prospective UNO students,” Madsen said.

The Brass Day event is seen as part of UNO’s mission of community engagement and allows those involved to help the area music programs.

Madsen hopes to see a lot from this event.

“This marks the first year of a service learning project between UNO and the Midwest Brass Society’s Omaha Brass Ensemble,” he said.

The Omaha Brass Ensemble is a 10 piece brass ensemble comprised of what Madsen says is “Omaha’s finest professional brass players.” Members of the OBE hold positions in many of the area orchestras and chamber ensembles. They are also all active as soloists and educators.

“To close out the day, the OBE will present a public concert in which the student Brass Day participants will join the OBE for the closing number,” Madsen said. “I hope we have a great audience for this and that it’s an experience the students will never forget.”

Because UNO has already hosted similar events, this year’s event has already expanded. Madsen hopes this year’s all day brass event will only continue on and grow.

“The former low brass day ran for 11 years and grew from four annual participants to over 70,” he said. “It is absolutely our intent to keep this as an annual event.”

Tickets for this event are available at ticketomaha.org.

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