UNCSA School of Music, in partnership with Piedmont Wind Symphony, presents acclaimed trumpet phenom

The School of Music at UNCSA in collaboration with the Piedmont Wind Symphony (PWS) will host acclaimed trumpet player Adam Rapa as artist-in-residence next month, performing with the UNCSA Wind and Jazz ensembles. Rapa is a dynamic performer, composer, producer and educator widely known for the mastery, versatility and excitement he brings to stages, studios and classrooms around the world. He will be joined by Norwegian tubist Øystein Baadsvik, who will be performing an arrangement written especially for him with the UNCSA Wind Ensemble.

The concert will take place Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for non-UNCSA students with valid ID online or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945.

Adam Rapa

Adam Rapa

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome two of the world's most sought-after brass soloists to perform with our students on one night,” said UNCSA Director of Instrumental Ensembles and PWS Music Director Mark Norman. “Their artistry and skills are unprecedented on their respective instruments and Adam and Øystein are excited to work with our student ensembles.”

Starting the concert will be the UNCSA Bergstone Brass performing composer Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Rapa will play three pieces he composed with the UNCSA Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Music faculty member Steve Alford. Baadsvik will play the "Carnival of Venice" with the UNCSA Wind Ensemble. The UNCSA Bergstone Brass Ensemble will also perform. Works also on the program include Kevin Day’s “A Song for Tomorrow,” a beautiful tribute to a lost high school classmate, and Joshua Hobbs’ blues-and-jazz-inspired “Into the Blue.”
Øystein Baadsvik

Øystein Baadsvik

The Nov. 1 concert will be followed by the UNCSA Brass Weekend, which will feature some of the best in brass from around the world.  Brass Weekend kicks off with the Piedmont Wind Symphony’s World Class Brass All-Stars concert on Friday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center, and ends with the Brass Impact! concert on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Watson Hall on the UNCSA campus. For the Brass Impact! concert, Rapa and Baadsvik will be joined by guest artists Jeff Scott, associate professor of horn at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Matt Niess, leader of The Capitol Bones and instructor of jazz at Shenandoah Conservatory. UNCSA faculty artists to perform include David Dash, trumpet; Brent Harvey, tuba; John Ilika, trombone; and Maria Serkin, horn.

The Nov. 4 program includes Rapa’s “Tales of the Orient Express,” an evocative work with Arabic and Balkan flavors; Valerie Coleman’s “Fanfare for Uncommon Times,” whose mood, according to The New York Times, “seems at once reflective and restless, uplifting and ominous”; and a fresh, new take on J.S. Bach’s electrifying Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. “This eclectic program ranges from the modern to Baroque, classical to jazz, international sounds and that incredible brass timbre,” Norman said.

UNCSA Wind Ensemble directed by Mark Norman

UNCSA Wind Ensemble directed by Mark Norman

“This is a concert that simply cannot be missed!” Norman continued. “In my lifetime, I have never witnessed this amount of talent in one program, from the world-class guest soloists to our area's finest brass instrumentalists featuring UNCSA faculty and alumni.” Tickets to the Brass Impact! concert on Nov. 4 are $25 for adults and $25 for non-UNCSA students. A free livestream of the concert is available with registration. All prospective students with valid ID can register for Brass Weekend for free online and will receive a complimentary ticket to the Brass Impact! concert.

Brass Impact! is a nonprofit charitable organization that supports philanthropic endeavors throughout North Carolina. A portion of the proceeds from this concert will go to support the UNCSA-Piedmont Wind Symphony fellowship program.  

About Adam Rapa

Rapa was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He began studying the trumpet at 11 years old, playing professionally at age 13 and was playing lead trumpet in many of the big bands at Berklee College of Music by age 16. By the age of 18, with an already thriving freelance career, he had appeared in many jazz festivals around the country and played at every major jazz club in Boston and many in New York, including the Blue Note. Rapa has been featured as a special guest artist and clinician at trumpet conferences around the globe including the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) conference and festivals in dozens of countries. Rapa starred in the Tony and Emmy Award-winning Broadway show, “Blast!” Since then, he has composed and co-produced several brass theater productions in Japan. His first solo album, “Life on the Road,” received critical acclaim for its vast musical diversity, virtuosity and soul. His second album, “Rebelión,” gave the brass world a unique and unparalleled fusion of classical, jazz and tango sensibilities. In his newest album, "Live in Argentina,” Rapa explores the more intimate side of Latin jazz in a program rich with poetry and emotional vulnerability, where phenomenal mastery is grounded in tranquility and romance. Rapa looks forward to a long career of producing innovative and inspiring musical and theatrical experiences and contributing to the greater good through the medium of art.

About Øystein Baadsvik

Øystein Baadsvik was voted one of the Top 10 brass players in history by the listeners on Classic FM. He did the first TED talk on the topic of tuba and has more than 6 million views on YouTube. His multifaceted musical career as a soloist and recording artist has taken him all over the world. He regularly gives master classes and clinics at major universities worldwide. His engagements include performances with orchestras including the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Taipei National Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Philharmonic. Baadsvik has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the world and in 2006 made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall. Baadsvik is an active recording artist whose work receives unstinting praise. In their review of “Tuba Works,” American Record Guide said, “This spectacular recording establishes Baadsvik as one of the best solo tubists in the world.”

About Jeff Scott

Jeff Scott is the associate professor of horn at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, hornist of the Imani Winds, a former member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem orchestras. He has performed numerous times with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, Scott was an orchestra member for “The Lion King” Broadway run from 1997 to 2005, as well as the 1994 revival of “Show Boat.” In the studio, Scott has performed on movie soundtracks by Terence Blanchard, Hans Zimmer and Tan Dun, and has collaborated with the likes of the late Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Chris Brubeck, Jimmy Heath and others. He has toured with the backing ensembles of Barbra Streisand and Luther Vandross. Scott is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied under David Jolley. He earned a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook under William Purvis, and he continued his studies with Scott Brubaker and Jerome Ashby.

About Matt Niess

Matthew Niess is a Washington, D.C.,-based cross-over Edwards trombonist and Summit Label recording artist. He served in the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” as lead trombone with The Army Blues Jazz Ensemble and trombonist with The U.S. Army Brass Quintet. He is currently a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He began his teaching career as director of bands at Calvert High School and has since taught at Towson, West Chester and George Mason universities. In 2021 he became director of jazz studies and professor of trombone at Shenandoah Conservatory. He is the founder and director of The Capitol Bones, the National Jazz Workshop, and has appeared as a soloist clinician and adjudicator at numerous schools and venues throughout the United States.

About Mark Norman

Mark A. Norman has enjoyed a career spanning over 30 years as a conductor and tuba performer. He is the music director of the Piedmont Wind Symphony and the director of Wind Ensembles and a conducting faculty artist at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is the former music director of the American Wind Orchestra and Riverside Wind Symphony and has been on the conducting faculties of the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG), Washburn University and Towson University. He has recorded with the Fountain City Brass Band, American Wind Orchestra, UNCG Wind Ensemble, and most recently, produced a three-part video series titled “Beethoven and the Winds” with the Piedmont Wind Symphony. He has been featured on radio programs including NPR Kansas and on local and national television shows. Throughout his career, he has been the subject of several articles in prestigious papers such as The Washington Post. Norman is a frequent guest conductor with professional and academic ensembles, most recently with the Winston-Salem Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony and the North Carolina Brass Band. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from UNCG.

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October 20, 2023