Just got back from a wonderful Sotto Voce performance at UNC Chapel Hill.

It was part of a larger weekend: when the tuba euph quartet I play in heard they were coming we contacted Demondrae about paying them for a coaching session, and arrabged for a two hour master class for ourselves with all four members. Demondrae helped us to learn to play with more expression, using exaggerated expression to communicate the piece to the audience. Mike Forbes was great along the same lines, but also got into the harmonic implications of the music at spots. Mark Carlson helped with the overall group and addressed some technical issues I was facing because of wrist problems. And Nat McIntosh helped bring that sense of rhythm and drive he brings from his other group, the Youngblood Brass Band. They are all terrific communicators and teachers, and well as world class players.

The concert itself brought out most of our local low brass folks, and even a trumpet player or two.

They played:

"Western Fanfare," Eric Ewazen, arr. Mike Forbes

"Falstaffiade," Jan Koestler, Mike Forbes tuba soloist

"Believe Me...Enduring Young Charms," Simone Mantia, Mark Carlson euph soloist

"Take This Hammer," Steven Snowden

"Je crois entendre," Georges Bizet, arr. Demondrae Thurman, with Demondrae as the soloist

"Libertango," Astor Piazzolla, arr. Mike Forbes, Nat McIntosh tuba soloist

"Ars Moriendi," Mr. Bungle, arr. Nat McIntosh

As an encore they played the Forbes arrangement of "Loch Lomond," complete with one verse sung in four part harmony.

Not much to say other than they were jaw droppingly good. As well as being virtuosi, they are performers and showmen. And in this concert they decided to showcase each member with a solo of his own, which gives an even deeper appreciation of their talents.

Bottom line: if you ever get a chance to hear Sotto Voce live, don't miss the chance.