'Luminosity' Radiates Love of Pittsburgh People

By Karlovits, Bob | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 4, 2008 | Go to article overview

'Luminosity' Radiates Love of Pittsburgh People


Karlovits, Bob, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Denis Colwell would like to make a special project by the River City Brass Band something of a new year's resolution.

"If I could find a way to keep this going, it would be great," he says of the band's premiere of a new work at each of its concerts this year. "It makes musicians feel like musicians and is very important for the future of the band. But it isn't easy."

That program will come to a close with the band's Christmas concerts that end the calendar year. The series begins this evening at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

The concert series, "And the Angels Sing," will feature a new work, "Luminosity," written by Nancy Galbraith, professor of composition at Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland.

The series of premieres was created by a $50,000 grant from Pittsburgh250, the group that put together a celebration of the city's 250th anniversary. Having the brass band play new music is an important function, Colwell says, because it gives new life to an ensemble that sometimes can seem a little too bound by tradition.

But finding the money to do that isn't easy, he says. That means regular premieres of commissioned works probably will come to an end with the Galbraith work.

But to give his concerts a steady dose of new music, Colwell is considering importing new brass-band works from Great Britain, where that genre of work is a little livelier.

In the meantime, he and the composer think "Luminosity" will give the band a work that can be played at more concerts than Christmas ones. …

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