St. Paul's Artists Series Presents Festive Music For Early Brass And Voices Feb. 9

Monday, February 5, 2018
The Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
The Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble

St. Paul’s Artist Series will present Festive Music for Early Brass & Voices featuring the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble with the St. Paul’s Senior Choir performing music
from the late Renaissance and early Baroque.

The concert takes place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (305 W. Seventh at Pine Street) on Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased in advance through the St. Paul’s website. Admission is $30 for priority seating and $20 for general seating. Student tickets are $10. Tickets will also be sold at the door on the night of the concert. For tickets and more information, visit:

Review for the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble:

Considered among the premiere period instrument ensembles in North America, the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble consists of historic brass instrument specialists based in the Washington D.C. area. Directed by Michael Holmes (cornetto and recorder), the group includes Stanley Curtis and Patrick O’Connell (cornetto), Barry Bocaner (alto and tenor sackbut, recorder), Aaron Moats (tenor sackbut), David Searle (bass sackbut), and Bozena Jedrzejczak-Brown (harpsichord). The Ensemble replicates the mixed group of cornets (curved hybrid brass/woodwind instruments) and sackbuts (early trombones) that comprised what was the standard brass ensemble of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras of European music.

Michael Holmes said, “The late Renaissance and early Baroque music presented in this program is performed in about as close a manner to the style and source as any modern listener may hear. We can find evidence of assemblages of cornetts (Ital. cornetti) and sackbuts (Ital. tromboni) among the old payment records of several of the courts all around Europe, especially the areas which now comprise England, Germany, and Italy. Instrumental ensembles during this time functioned quite similarly to the jazz ensembles of our modern era. Keyboardists would assume a chordal supportive role, while players of melodic instruments would use their separate parts (lead sheets) as groundwork for elaborate and intricate improvisation. Cornettists were the Charlie Parkers of their day, and their dazzling virtuosity was the reason why they were the highest paid musicians in the court. The Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble delights in bringing this old tradition back to life.” 

Keith Reas, director of Music at St. Paul’s, said, "Instrumental ensembles featuring cornetti and sackbuts were often used to accompany voices, especially in the late Renaissance and early Baroque era, so the participation of the St. Paul’s Choir is a natural addition to this concert. The works we’ve chosen to perform together display instruments and voices in three different ways: where they are completely independent, where the instruments double the voice parts, and in a polychoral setting where instruments and choir interact back and forth.” 

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