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Dallas Brass strikes up the band with Cortez students

Dallas Brass mixes it up with Cortez students during concert

The Dallas Brass performed Wednesday, Feb. 8, to a capacity audience at the Ralph E. Vavak Memorial Auditorium at the Montezuma-Cortez High School.

The concert was a bonus concert presented by SouthWest Colorado Concerts in appreciation of their season ticket holders. It also featured appearances by the Cortez Middle and High School bands.

The Dallas Brass, founded by Michael Levine in 1983 in Dallas, Texas, has performed with several orchestras throughout the U.S. It has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the JFK Center in Washington, D.C., and has toured overseas to Europe and the Far East.

They also have a strong dedication to working with young musicians, and began their Wednesday with a rehearsal with the Cortez Middle School band. Though they would eventually sit in front of the Middle School band, Dallas Brass members went to each area of the band representing the instruments they played and started playing along with the students while mentoring them. This continued throughout the day with a clinic for 1½ hours followed by a similar rehearsal with the high school band.

It became evident right away that middle school band director Andrew Campo, high school director Rodney Ritthaler and their assistant, Katie Zdanowski, had all done marvelous jobs in prepared the young musicians to perform with the Dallas Brass.

The first half of the concert featured only the Dallas Brass and included classical, Dixieland, swing, Broadway and patriotic songs. Opening the second half of the concert, the Dallas Brass performed “Cotton Eyed Joe” with the middle school band and “American Tableau” with the high school band. The Dallas Brass then continued to the end of the concert performing as the ensemble they are known to be.

Jun 16, 2021
Photo: Students perform with Dallas Brass