NSU Galaxy of Stars opens 25th season with St. Louis Brass Quintet

Observing 25 years of presenting the arts in the Tahlequah community, Northeastern State University's Galaxy of Stars series begins its 2010-11 season with a performance by the St. Louis Brass Quintet on Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Tahlequah High School Center for the Performing Arts.

The Galaxy of Stars series was first established as part of the Sequoyah Institute. Both were created by NSU President Don Betz when he was a faculty member. He said the series has created a unique entertainment experience for the people of northeast Oklahoma.

"Over the past quarter century, thousands of our friends and neighbors have been entertained, enthralled, educated and inspired by the depth and range of the globally-recognized talent pool that have performed in Tahlequah," said Betz. "I was proud to found the Institute and the Galaxy of Stars programs, and am personally delighted to welcome everyone to the 25th year of this series."

Dr. Paul Westbrook, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said the lineup for Galaxy of Stars featured a variety of artistic styles and specialties.

"Seen from a cultural perspective, we have American Big Band Jazz, traditional Chinese, Celtic Christmas music, American folk music and eastern European Klezmer and Romani music," he said. From an instrument perspective we will feature trumpet, pipa, bodhran, drum kit, banjo and violin. I think this will be an exciting season for lovers of music."

Though formally attired for concerts, the St. Louis Brass members create a relaxed and informal atmosphere for the audience. The quintet specializes in classical chamber music, but plays pieces from across several genres including modern, jazz and standards.

Amber Cowan, Galaxy of Stars director, said the series' 25th anniversary season would be exciting for audiences as entertainment and from an educational perspective.

"For the first show this season, we have a very special collaboration with the NSU Faculty Brass Quintet on NSU Brass Day," she said. "The itinerary for the day features programs that will appeal to community members of any musical inclination."

Prior to the Galaxy of Stars concert, a welcome recital featuring NSU Faculty Brass Quintet will begin at 1:30 p.m. Immediately following the St. Louis Brass Quintet's performance, SLBQ will hold a master class for elementary and secondary students followed by instrumental workshops with the NSU Faculty Brass Quintet. Admission to the performances is $6 per student and the master class and workshops are free to participants. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservation forms for the post-show workshops are available at the Sequoyah Institute Box Office.

The quintet was formed in 1964 by members of the St. Louis Symphony to perform concerts for children in the St. Louis area, and it is now one of the longest standing brass quintets in the U.S.

Members of the SLBQ are Allan Dean, professor for the Yale School of Music, on trumpet; Ray Sasaki, professor of music at the University of Texas, on trumpet; Thomas Bacon, soloist with the Houston Ballet, on horn; Melvyn Jernigan, founding member, on trombone and Daniel Perantoni, professor of music at Indiana University, on tuba.

Individual ticket prices are $20 for adults, $18 for NSU alumni, $16 for NSU employees and seniors 60 and over, $10 for students and $6 for NSU students. Season and "favorite four" ticket packages are also available. To reserve tickets or to rsvp to the post-show workshops call (918) 458-2075. For more information visit www.nsuok.edu/si.

The Galaxy of Stars series is made possible through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Published: 9/29/2010 4:01:55 PM

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