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September 18, 2013
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

FAIRFAX, Va., Sept. 18, 2013 – Praised by The Washington Post as “brass, boldly redefined,” Washington Symphonic Brass appears at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 at 4 p.m. This extraordinary 17-piece ensemble presents a rousing performance of powerful brass sounds that will change the way audiences think about brass music. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III, and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

This fascinating program, titled “From Bach to Classic Rock,” travels from music originally played in powdered wigs to music meant to be played with black t-shirts and pyrotechnics, all displaying this ensemble’s majestic brass sound. The program includes Bach’s Finale from “Christmas Oratorio” and Praeludium XI from the “Well Tempered Clavier” featuring soloists Joe Burgstaller and Martin Hackleman; “Respighi’s Suite” from “Ancient Airs and Dances” and “Danza Guerresca” (“War Dance”); and classic rock selections from Boston, Chicago, the Beatles, Journey, Wings, Kansas and Queen.

Founded in 1993 by the late conductor Milton Stevens and acclaimed trumpeter Phil Snedecor, who sought to showcase the great literature written for a large brass ensemble, Washington Symphonic Brass features some of the most talented musicians from the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. Many of the band’s members routinely perform with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among other revered orchestras in the region. Composed of four trumpets, four horns, four trombones, euphonium, tuba, timpani and other percussion instruments, Washington Symphonic Brass’ diverse and expansive repertoire spans five centuries of music. The ensemble, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has brought its powerful sound to audiences across the East Coast, and numerous venues in the Washington, D.C. area, including the Washington National Cathedral, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Basilica at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Kennedy Center with the Washington Choral Arts Society. Washington Symphonic Brass was the official instrumental ensemble for the 2008 Papal visit to Washington, D.C. The ensemble has several critically acclaimed recordings under the Summit and Warner Classic labels.

For this performance, Washington Symphonic Brass will feature two soloists, Joe Burgstaller and Martin Hackleman, both former Canadian Brass members. Trumpeter Joe Burgstaller has performed in front of more than 40 orchestras and boasts an extensive discography. In addition to being an international soloist, he was one of the soloists at the Columbia Artists’ Community Concerts and is currently a Yamaha Performing Artist. At the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Burgstaller teaches trumpet and chamber music. French hornist Martin Hackleman has served appointments as Principal Horn for the National Symphony Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as Solo Horn for others. He is currently the Solo Horn for Washington Symphonic Brass. Hackleman is heavily involved in music education and has published books, served on various faculties and worked with Yamaha as a French horn design consultant. Currently, Hackleman is an Artist in Residence and Associate Teaching Professor of Horn at the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Phil Snedecor, who serves as Washington Symphonic Brass’ arranger, trumpet player and manager, earned degrees in trumpet performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he also received the prestigious Performers Certificate. Snedecor is a former member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has also held positions with the National Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and Baltimore Opera. He is currently the principal trumpet in the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, Pa., and recently founded the D.C. Pops Orchestra, a 30-piece ensemble that has performed at the National Building Museum and Mellon Auditorium. Snedecor has appeared on numerous recordings on the RCA, CBS, Gothic, Koss and Summit labels, and his solo albums, “The Lyrical Trumpet,” volumes I and II, are available on the Summit label. Snedecor is a faculty member in George Mason University’s School of Music, and he has written a series of brass étude books that are required repertoire at many colleges and conservatories across the United States.


Program subject to change.


Tickets for WASHINGTON SYMPHONIC BRASS are $44, $36 and $22. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with young children. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.


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