DCCA News: To look in wonder


You’ll have a blast if you are in the audience when Darke County Center for the Arts 2016-17 Coffeehouse Series season opens at Montage Cafe Oct. 13. Mirari Brass Quintet will bring their spirit of joyful collaboration to music spanning centuries and genres to present a timeless, eclectic, and masterful show that will appeal to all fans of good music.

Combining the concept of an appealing chamber music performance in an intimate setting with the laid-back, accessible social vibe of a late-60s coffeehouse concert, DCCA hopes to entice an audience that not only appreciates the sounds of virtuosic horns, but also wants to have fun.

Alex Noppe and Matthew Vangjel are the group’s trumpeters, and Jessie Thoman plays horn, while Sarah Paradis is the trombonist, and Stephanie Frye toots the tuba. In case you’re wondering, mirari is a Latin word meaning “to look in wonder at.” The five friends who make up Mirari Brass hope for their performances to inspire amazement in listeners, but the name also is based upon the wondrous admiration and respect they have for each other. As they draw inspiration from one another, virtuosity abounds and expands, creating an electric energy that also communicates to and connects with their audience.

But what will they play, you may wonder. Their selections will be influenced by the formal construction of European classics, the improvisatory nature of African music, and the rhythms of Latin America; a typical Mirari performance will borrow many works from outside the standard brass repertoire. Stephen Schwartz’s “Defying Gravity,” the thrilling ballad triumphantly closing the first act of Broadway hit Wicked, might follow a tune created for Charles Mingus’ big band or one penned by jazz piano great Chick Corea. Renaissance works originally written for voice or a recent composition by trumpeter Alex Noppe might bookend John Cheetham’s A Brass Menagerie, which borrows concepts from many prominent American composers including Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Igor Stravinsky to create a fusion of exhilarating musical ideas.

To experience this captivating program within the cozy confines of Montage Cafe will simply heighten the excitement; many memorable concerts have already taken place within that welcoming space. The inviting ambience and friendly atmosphere enhance almost any event held at the local gathering place, whether it’s a quiet lunch with a friend, a spirited celebration for a big crowd, or a performance by talented artists happily doing what they were born to do.

Experience the wonder of Mirari Brass for yourself; their captivating performance will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected], or purchased at DCCA’s office within Greenville Public Library as well as online at www.CenterForArts.net. Tickets will also be available at the door.


By Marilyn Delk


Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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