The Civic Music Association has brought world class musicians to Des Moines since 1925. Elsa Neumann, Gertrude Shloss, and Elizabeth Cowles founded the organization and believed in bringing the world’s greatest musicians to Des Moines in an era preceding the Des Moines Symphony, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and other local music organizations we have now. The very first CMA performance featured the Kibalchich Russian Symphonic Choir. Since then, CMA has drawn great musical talent to Des Moines including the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Simon Estes, and Philip Glass. Often, CMA is fortunate to feature artists that have performed with us before. Canadian Brass, a world-famous brass quintet, has performed for CMA 5 times since 1980.
Canadian Brass is a brass quintet featuring Achilles Liarmakopoulos on trombone, Jeff Nelsen on french horn, Caleb Hudson on trumpet, Brandon Ridenour on trumpet, and Chuck Daellenbach on tuba. The ensemble was first formed by Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts in 1970, and has spent over 50 years dazzling audiences with virtuosity and spontaneity. They perform a mix of classical and contemporary pieces, including new compositions written especially for them. They have recorded over 130 albums and toured worldwide, and they were the first brass group to perform at Carnegie Hall.
Canadian Brass is no stranger to the CMA stage. They first performed in Des Moines in the 1980-1981 season. The band graced the stage again in the 1982-1983 season, the 1997-1998 season, the 2013-2014 season, and most recently in the 2016-2017 season. In that concert, Canadian Brass collaborated with the Heartland Youth Choir. They performed a setlist that included classical pieces like Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 Mvt. 3, along with holiday classics such as “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Since their CMA performance in 2016, Canadian Brass has continued to tour and perform both within North America and abroad. They are widely recognized on the international level, hailing from Toronto, Canada. They have sold over 2 million albums worldwide and have played packed houses everywhere throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe. This upcoming year they are continuing their international touring by playing in Germany in January 2022.
Canadian Brass is passionate about teaching the next generation of players, and they often do masterclasses with students and young audiences as they tour. CMA also strives to create educational opportunities for students and young musicians in the area, and has worked with Canadian Brass before to connect with local schools. In 2016, Canadian Brass held a masterclass for Drake University brass players, where 52 people attended. Their upcoming concert will be no different, and they are planning on hosting a masterclass with students from Drake University and Valley High School.
CMA is delighted to feature Canadian Brass once again on December 5, 2021. The quintet will perform in the Staplin Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Kick off the holiday season right and treat yourself, your family & friends this holiday season by joining us for what promises to be a fun-filled, memorable performance!