Group Bio

Heralded by the press for their "virtuosity, versatility and verve" (Muskegon Chronicle)
Earl Raney's Epic Brass Quintet is one of the most dynamic chamber music groups on the concert stage today. Founded in 1983, this Boston-based ensemble combines elegant musical artistry with a youthful flair and brilliance, which captivates audiences worldwide. Since winning the prestigious Alliance Auditions (Northeast Chamber Music Competition)
in 1986, the quintet has blazed a trail across forty-six states with performances at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, and Ambassador Auditorium. The quintet is also
a perennial favorite at summer chamber music festivals across the country, including their headline performance at the celebrated Castle Hill Festival, where they thrilled thousands at the Fourth of July festivities. Internationally, the group has concertized in Canada, Bermuda, Austria, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Poland, and most recently the Far East. The Epic Brass is regularly featured on radio and television programs nationwide, including live performances on Boston's WGBH "Morning Pro Musica", San Francisco's KQED "West Coast Weekend Show", Pittsburgh's WQED, Seattle's KING "Live By George", and National Public Radio's "Performance Today".

The quintet is praised for its richly varied repertoire which spans Renaissance to twentieth century compositions, including graceful Elizabethan dances, rollicking opera overtures and red-hot Dixieland jazz.  In addition to their virtuosity as performers, Epic Brass members are also talented arrangers who supply a constant array of original and innovative arrangements to the group's eclectic repertoire. Their inspired musicality breathes new life into the traditional brass literature and makes twentieth-century works accessible to listeners of all ages. Selections from their repertoire have recently been orchestrated by Boston composer/ arranger Kenneth Amis and are being performed with symphony orchestras nationwide, most recently with the Boston Festival Orchestra before an audience of twenty thousand.

The Epic Brass is deeply committed to music education. Each season the group presents over one hundred school concerts, master classes, and workshops for young musicians.
The quintet is on the roster of the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and has appeared as guest artist for Young Audiences of Connecticut, the Great Woods Educational Forum in Mansfield (MA), the Newbold Music Festival in Bracknell, England, and the New England Summer Arts Program in New Hampshire.

The group has seven recordings on Ars Nova Digital: Music of the Masters (works by Scheidt, Handel, Charpentier, Bach, Gabrieli, Tessarini, Susato, Haydn, and Rimsky-Korsakov), Star Spangled Pops! (a collection of popular music by American composers), Going Home (an anthology of sacred classical masterworks, folk hymns, and African-American Spirituals), Joy to the World! (a Christmas recording with the Atlantic Union Collegiate Choir), International Treasures (favorite classical and popular melodies from around the world), Christmas Classics (25 all time "hits" spanning four centuries), and High Flyin' Horns! (a young person's introduction to the brass family with narration by the group's director, Earl Raney).

The Epic Brass ideology can best be summed up in the words of Raney, "Music can be a study, but should primarily be a joy. Our most successful concerts are when audience members leave the hall whistling our music!"

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