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Local brass quintet to play premier concert in Solana Beach

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Seachange Brass quintet (Frank Glasson is on the far left).
(Courtesy)

A new, local jazz quintet will perform in Solana Beach to show the powerful sound that just five musicians can make together and to inspire children to pick up instruments.

Frank Glasson, a Solana Beach resident and trumpet player who has taught the Solana Beach School District Band for 25 years, came up with the idea for the Seachange Brass quintet about a decade ago. His dream finally came to fruition about six months ago, when he rounded out the group with Tim Saeger, trumpet; Rachel Trumbore, Trombone; Brian O'Donnell, bass trombone; and Matt Pennington, French horn.

Following various engagements, such as church services, Seachange Brass will perform its first concert at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, 1036 Solana Drive in Solana Beach, on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. A portion of ticket sales will go to the Solana Beach Band Program and other programs supporting school instrumental music. For more information visit https://www.UUFSD.org/concerts, and to purchase tickets visit https://www.uufsd.org/tickets/brass.

Glasson, who has performed in various orchestras and chambers and won a “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” Grammy for improvised solos on “Jazztet” with the Westwind Brass Quintet, recently spoke about his excitement for the concert and for this new venture with Seachange Brass.

Frank Glasson
Frank Glasson Courtesy

Q: What is the history of the group?

A: It was about 10 years in the making, and I was just waiting to find the right players. It's difficult to find the right combination of personalities and musicians that are at a super-high level that are enthusiastic about playing in a chamber group like this. I just decided I was going to wait until that morphed on its own, and I knew I wanted to get younger players in the group, ones that are sort of fresh out of conservatories. I found a perfect match of people, and it's just been the best group I've ever played with. ... It's not the same when you're playing in an orchestra as it is when you're playing in a smaller group because instead of 100 people doing the job it's much more intimate musically for us and has much more communication going on. As an artist, as a musician, it's just way more satisfying on a musical level getting to be in a small group like that, especially with the right people.

Q: What are your goals as a group?

A: We're all educators and teach privately and coach at high schools. We would like to reach out to more of the Title 1 schools that don't have music programs and the kids aren't exposed to any live music at all. We're in the process of getting donations, grant money and other support to get out to the schools and do interactive outreach for the kids. We want to get them excited about maybe playing an instrument. We have some more former students and current students that want to be music educators. We have a process of getting an afterschool music program at these schools that don't have any music.

Q: Why is it important to you to instill this love and appreciation of music into children?

A: It's been proven that playing a musical instrument increases the IQ, brain activity and the ability for critical thinking, which is needed to succeed in life. If these kids aren't exposed to anything but video games then they're not getting that stimulus they need to help them have the skills later in life. It's a great vehicle to make society a better place. The other thing is, we want to keep some kids off the streets and give them a hobby that runs much deeper than most other hobbies because there's a much more personal investment in it. It can be a way of giving them a purpose in their life that they wouldn't normally have. We also need future audiences for what we do for a living. Symphony orchestras won't have future audiences unless the kids want to go to those symphony concerts and hear them.

Q: What can people expect from this concert on Jan. 13?

A: The biggest thing we're going after at this point is just to show the versatility of the group, that we can play everything from Bach to Bebop. We'll also play some newer composers and the old standards, like West Side Story and we'll end with some jazz tunes as well. We want audiences to know that a group of five brass players can generate some amazing colors and sound like we're five times the size we are. The caliber of players is on such a high level. I think the audience is really going to find something different from this concert than they've found from any other concert that they've ever been to.


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