Sunday, June 25, 2000

Top women brass players gather at UC Conservatory

By Janelle Gelfand
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati will be the best place in the country to hear top brass when the International Women's Brass Conference takes place at the UC College-Conservatory of Music, Wednesday-Saturday. .

        More than 400 trombonists, trumpeters, hornists, tubists and euphonium players — many of them principal players in major orchestras — will converge on the campus for concerts, competitions and seminars.

        “It's going to be exhilarating. Whenever this group gets together, there's so much energy. It's a celebration,” says Marie Speziale, president of IWBC and the first woman trumpeter in a major symphony orchestra (she's retired from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra).

        The group, says IWBC's Web site (, attempts to educate about the past, present and future of women brass musicians.

        Nightly concerts at 7:30 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium will showcase the artists. Opening night, Wednesday, will feature Barbara Butler, professor of trumpet at Northwestern University; Rebecca Bower Cherian, co-principal trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony; and a brass ensemble of women brass players from Washington, D.C.'s elite military bands.

        Thursday's concert will include Cincinnati's Blue Wisp Big Band and Deborah Weisz, former trombonist with Frank Sinatra.

        Friday's concert will star tuba player Velvet Brown; Susan Slaughter, principal trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony; Julia Banton, bass trombone with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec; and the horn section (four women) of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

        Local artists include Robin Graham, principal horn of the CSO; Ms. Speziale, a CCM faculty member and professor at Indiana University, and CCM faculty members Brad Goode, Alan Siebert, Randy Gardner, David Vining and Tim Northcut.

        A solo competition — open to men and women of all ages — will award $2,000 first prizes in each instrumental category. All competitors must be registered for the conference. The finals, at 2:30 p.m. in Watson and Werner Recital Halls (Wednesday through Friday ) are open to the public.

        Wednesday's concert is free. Others are $10. 558-1810.


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