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Brass ensemble rings out the old, rings in the new

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By Nita Brown

Lancaster can get an early start on “Ringing out the Old and Ringing in the New” this New Year’s Eve.
The Tom Burge Brass Ensemble will perform a variety of classical and contemporary music in a free concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at the Cultural Arts Center in the historic Old Presbyterian Church building at 307 W. Gay St., Lancaster.
Burge, a trombonist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and low brass instructor at Wingate University believes the program will appeal to people of all ages and musical tastes.
“This is going to be a fun-filled program with memories of Christmas, some reflections of the old year and maybe even further back, and some spirited joy for a happy new year,” said Burge, host of WDAV 89.9’s “Sunday Evening” radio program.
Composers range from old, familiar names like Bach, to newer, more unfamiliar names like present-day composer, Eric Ewagen, with styles ranging from “old” classical to “new” jazz and Glenn Miller swing.
The ensemble includes performers from last year, Richard Harris and James Ackley on trumpet, and Robert Rydel on horn, joined by bass trombonist, Scott Hartman. Harris, Rydel and Hartman are based in Charlotte; and Ackley is based in Columbia.
Each musician is highly trained with broad experience with performances nationally and around the world, in addition to performing in the Carolinas. All share a passion for music education.
Harris is acting principal trumpet with the Charlotte Symphony and an adjunct music professor at Winthrop University.
Ackley is a soloist, chamber musician and clinician, who plays frequently with the Charlotte and Charleston Symphony orchestras and serves as professor of trumpet at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music.
Rydel plays horn with the Charlotte Symphony, is on the music faculty at Winthrop University and owns Acoustic Mobility, a recording production company.
Hartman is principal bass trombone with the Charlotte Symphony, trombone instructor at Davidson College and coaches the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra.
As with all Vivian Major Robinson concerts, the audience will learn something interesting and informative about the music or composers, as performers introduce each selection.  
For more information, contact concert coordinator John Craig at (347) 604-2179.