Let the Trumpets Sound! Philadelphia Brass Christmas

“One of the gems of Philadelphia’s cultural life.”  Martin Goldsmith, NPR’s Performance Today

Let the Trumpets Sound! Celebrate the Christmas Season on Sunday, December 8, 2024 at 2 PM in Lincoln Hall with the majestic sounds of glorious brass music performed by “one of the gems of Philadelphia’s cultural life,” the PHILADELPHIA BRASS, who turned “the audience into something resembling a cheering section, while at the same time leaving them breathless.”  From the stage of the Royal Albert Hall to the heights of the Bolivian Andes, the Philadelphia Brass has been acclaimed for their technical brilliance and superb musicality – their “artistry of the highest caliber.”  

Give the Gift of Christmas Music… bring your family – and prepare your hearts for the Holiday Season, inspired by the quintet’s “dazzling” virtuosity in Christmas carols and beloved sacred holiday music from their two Christmas recordings – “Christmas” and “Christmas in the Grand Tradition.” 

ARCA is grateful for the generous donation of long-time Board members Jack and Millie Armant, for their sponsorship of the debut of Philadelphia Brass in Lincoln Hall.

Be sure to reserve or buy online early, as this concert will sell out.

Tickets:  Adults $35, Members $30, Students $5   To Reserve, call 724-659-3153 to pay by cash or check at the door – or buy online here.

The Philadelphia Brass

Formed in 1988 and a top prizewinner in the prestigious Raphael Mendez Competition, Philadelphia Brass performs the finest brass literature in diverse repertoire of all styles and periods with a “cohesiveness seldom heard in live chamber music” as they promote the enjoyment of chamber music among audiences of all ages and interests.

Individually, the members of Philadelphia Brass have performed with the world’s top musical ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, among many others.

Philadelphia Brass master classes have been called “excellent and sensitively handled” and esteemed American composer, the late Daniel Pinkham, has written that Philadelphia Brass is “the most artistic brass quintet before the public today.”

  “The stars of the show were the members of the Philadelphia Brass. This group has to be the most artistic brass quintet before the public today and they are the most style-conscious brass ensemble I have yet worked with.”   Daniel Pinkham, composer and organist

The ensemble has toured extensively throughout the United States, the United Kingdom and has completed two well-received tours to Bolivia on behalf of the U.S. State Department in collaboration with the Asociacion pro Arte y Cultura’s Baroque Festival based in Santa Cruz. Daniel Pinkham’s Creation of the World, a work for brass, organ, choir, and narrator co-commissioned by Philadelphia Brass and 13 presenters across the country, was premiered by Philadelphia Brass in 1995. Other premiers have included commissioned works by David Diamond, J.A.C. Redford, Robert Elkjer, Jack Gale, Dick Hyman and Paul Salerni.

Philadelphia Brass has produced five CDs- two of which are dedicated to Christmas music:  “Renaissance and Baroque”, “Joan Lippincott and Philadelphia Brass”, “Christmas”, “Christmas in the Grand Tradition” with Peter Conte and the Wanamaker Organ, “The Anniversary Album”, and is featured in Family Portrait and Smoky Mountain Fanfare, two pieces on the new Summit Records CD, “David Sampson – Notes from Far Away Places”.

Philadelphia Brass is dedicated to music education and has a long history of performing programs for students at all levels. Previous master classes and residencies have taken place in such settings as the Juilliard School, the University of Maryland’s School of Music, Lehigh University, Villanova University, Elizabethtown College, and has played benefit performances for Habitat for Humanity, Cure Autism Now and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The Ensemble also has worked with students in numerous public schools such as Bedford and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

One of the unique strengths of Philadelphia Brass is the palpable sense of respect, affection and musical enjoyment among its members. This allows the players to perform with exceptional flexibility and cohesiveness, and enhances the ensemble’s appeal to audiences of all ages.


Philadelphia Brass Members

Anthony Cecere, French horn, graduated from the University of Michigan. He has been principal horn and soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic, a member of the American Chamber Players of Washington, DC, and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New Jersey and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic. Tony is currently principal horn of the Bach Festival Orchestra of Bethlehem.

His recording credits include concerti by Mozart and Haydn, Twilight Music for violin, horn and piano by John Harbison, and the Bach Mass in b minor and Christmas Oratorio with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. He has toured throughout Germany and France, and con- ducted master classes at numerous schools of music including Yale, Juilliard, the University of Missouri, the University of Arkansas, Idaho State University and the University of Seoul, South Korea.

Tony has played for many Broadway musicals including Beauty and the Beast and resides in Bernardsville, New Jersey with his wife, cellist Gerall Hieser. He loves railroads and a nice Sonoma Zinfandel.

Robert Gale is principal trombone with Opera Philadelphia, the Chamber Orchestra of Phil- adelphia and a member of the pit orchestra of the Walnut Street Theater. He is on the fac- ulties of The College of New Jersey and Drexel University. He has performed with the St. Louis and Richmond Symphonies and has recorded extensively for many vocal artists, tele- vision and major motion pictures. After graduating from the University of Illinois Bob began fifteen years of touring with the swing bands of Glenn Miller, Les Elgart, Jimmy Dorsey, and Bob Crosby, and the back-up bands for Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis, Donna Summer, Vic Da- mone, the Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, Natalie Cole and numerous others.

His love for music is closely followed by his love for the movies, which he sees, in his esti- mation, many more than he should. Bob lives in Philadelphia with his wife, violinist Mar- tha Mott-Gale.

Steven Heitzer, a native Philadelphian, is an active classical trumpet player in the tri-state area. He is a member of Opera Philadelphia, Bach Festival Orchestra of Bethlehem, Reading Symphony and Ocean City Pops Orchestra. He is also a frequent performer with Delaware Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Lancaster Sym- phony, and the Walnut Street Theatre.

Steve’s many performing credits include Dave Brubeck, Branford Marsalis, Don Rickles, Peter Nero and Luciano Pavoratti among others. Steven’s main musical interest besides playing the trumpet is arranging music. He has scored nearly 2ee brass arrangements for Philadelphia Brass, the Delaware Symphony, Ocean City Pops Orchestra as well as works for various choirs and organists around the Philadelphia region. He received his undergradu- ate degree from Temple University and his master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Kelly, a jazz vocalist and music therapist, and son Sam. In his spare time, when not arranging music, Steve enjoys old movies, spy novels, and crossword puzzles.

Brian Kuszyk is principal trumpet of the Opera Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Delaware Symphony, a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Beth- lehem Bach Festival Orchestra, and a frequent substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also serves as principal trumpet with the Princeton Festival. He has been a featured soloist with the Delaware Symphony, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

After completing his musical education at Temple University as a student of Seymour Rosenfeld, he served for sixteen years as principal trumpet with the Opera Festival of New Jersey. Among his numerous national TV, radio and film credits is the Emmy Award win- ning documentary Johnny Unitas and a Latin Grammy winning recording Interchange

with the LA Guitar Quartet and the Delaware Symphony. He has collaborated with artists Luciano Pavarotti, Denyce Graves, Tony Randall and Barry Manilow and recorded for the Telarc, RCA, Dorian, Albany, Gothic and Argo/London Labels. Recent tours have taken him to Bolivia, England, Germany and Portugal.

Brian lives in Merion Station, PA with his wife Laure, a high school French teacher, and his children Matthieu and Isabelle. He spends part of each summer in France and has a pas- sion for motorcycles and biographies.

Scott Mendoker has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, New York and Boston Pops, the New Jersey Symphony, the Broadway hit musical Ragtime, the Ba- varian Radio, and recorded with the Metropolitan Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orches- tra. His recordings of David Sampson’s Three Portraits for Tuba and Chamber Orchestra with members of the Czech Philharmonic for Summit Records and David Holsinger’s Kansas City Dances for Tuba and Wind Ensemble for Mark Records have received high praise and critical acclaim. Recently, Scott premiered and recorded Heavy Weather, a concerto written for him and the Hartt School Wind Ensemble by Jess Turner. The recording will be released on the Naxos label.

Scott was a long-time student of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s legendary tuba player and brass pedagogue, the late Arnold Jacobs, and is currently an Artist/Teacher at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. He is an endorsing artist for Big Mouth Brass tubas www.bartsbrassblog.com and Wedge mouthpieces www.wedgemouthpiece.com

Scott lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, Annie, a professional hornist, their daughter, Emma and their dog, Rosie.

ARRIVE EARLY & Shop at the RBG!

Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg and get some Christmas Shopping done at the Red Brick Gallery before the concert! 

Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts for those special people on your list?  Be sure to visit The Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop Annual Holiday Art Show & Exhibit  – and shop locally for Christmas ornaments and special holiday gifts including hand-woven shawls, gorgeous pottery, and one of a kind gem-stone necklaces, bracelets and rings made by three jewelry artists!

Glittering with Christmas decorations, The Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop Annual Holiday Art Show & Exhibit will be open before and after the Philadelphia Brass Christmas concert on Sunday, December 8 from noon to 5 PM for your last minute Christmas shopping – to find a gift created by the talented Cooperative Artists from the region.

The Red Brick Gallery & Gift Shop’s Annual Holiday Art Show & Exhibit spans six weekends from Friday, November 15 to Sunday, December 22, featuring one-of -a-kind, high quality, original artisan-made gifts created by Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Member Artists: Karin Arnds, Taylor Banner, Chris Bauer, Mark DeWalt, Angela Taylor Hardwick, Ann Harting, Kathy Hogg, Dennis Keyes, Jason Floyd Lewis, Karen Mortland, Nissa Rappoport, Linda Thompson and Cathy & Jack Trzeciak.

Make It a Foxburg Holiday Outing!

Plan to arrive early before the concert, to do a wine tasting in the beautifully remodeled and elegant Foxburg Wine Cellars and continue your last minute holiday SHOPPING with holiday gifts of specialty wines and after-dinner dessert wines as well as unique wine-related stocking stuffers for those wine lovers on your list – or for yourself and your Christmas feasts!  And don’t forget their deliciously robust River Queen for those port lovers on your list!

Everyone loves chocolate at Christmas – and you can find boxes of hand-made organic chocolates and their famous chocolate caramels to put under the tree at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista

AND to take off the chill, enjoy gourmet chocolate or specialty coffee to fortify your spirits.

Before the concert, arrive early and enjoy a brisk walk along the Allegheny River trail, beautiful any time of the year.

Plan to have lunch before – or dinner after the concert – and be sure to make a reservation to guarantee you get a table – at the Allegheny Grille in their dining room overlooking the Allegheny River.

Or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza.

Plan to enjoy a wonderful pre-Christmas weekend of shopping and enjoying the peace of the valley before the concert of Highline Vocal Jazz – extending your stay on Saturday or Sunday night at the newly renovated, romantic Foxburg Inn, where every room has a view of the river!

If you reserve early, you can get the room with the fireplace!