Foothills Brass set to thrill at All Saints

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A concert by one of Canada’s finest brass ensembles — the Foothills Brass Quintet — promises music to suit every taste.

Set for Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at All Saints By-the-Sea, the concert will include music by Handel, Penella, Ewald, Jelly Roll Morton, Gershwin, Ellington, Shostakovich and Miles Davis, among others.

During its 36-year history, the Foothills Brass Quintet has performed up to 200 concerts a year across North America, Europe and the Middle East. In addition to theatre concerts, the players have performed for about one million students in Canadian schools. The group will also give two school concerts while on the island.

“The Salt Spring Middle School’s new music teacher and trombonist, Keith Ollerenshaw, is hoping that Foothills will work their magic, helping him to re-launch the band program at SIMS,” said the group’s one Salt Spring member: trumpeter Derrick Milton.

Trumpeter Chris Morrison and Rosalee Morrison on French horn, the founders of Foothills Brass, met Milton at the Banff School of Fine Arts in the early 1970s where the three were studying with the original Canadian Brass. They then met up again when they played together in the Thunder Bay Symphony. The friends went on to have independent musical careers for a while, playing with such entities as the Canadian Opera, and the Stratford Festival, the National and Winnipeg Ballet orchestras, the Winnipeg and St. John symphonies. In 1981, Milton was asked to leave his musical career in Toronto to join the newly formed Foothills Brass, but a veterinary career and family commitments prevented him from touring until 2012. 

Tubist Keith Hartshorn-Walton teaches music at Carleton University. With a PhD in tuba from McGill, he plays a variety of instruments. Not only an accomplished jazz and classical tubist, he also plays piano, organ and string bass and is a successful composer and arranger.

Trombonist Carsten Rubeling took up trombone after hearing the Foothills Brass at his school when he was in Grade 3. Rubeling went on to get a masters degree in music, studying in New York City, where he later carved out a successful freelance career as a jazz trombonist. Rubeling now lives in Calgary where he is one of the most sought after jazz trombonists in that city. 

Tickets are $20 in advance at Mondo Trading or at the door.

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