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World-renowned brass performer, teacher to visit campus in November

RELEASED: Oct. 12, 2010

Steven Mead photo
Steven Mead

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host one of the world's most recorded brass artists Nov. 4-6. Steven Mead will perform a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. During the remainder of his visit, Mead will present master classes, conduct private lessons, work with the university bands and spend time with students in Eau Claire-area schools.

Dr. Jerry Young, professor of music at UW-Eau Claire, describes Mead as "the Yo Yo Ma" of the euphonium — a tenor-voiced brass instrument that is slightly smaller than the tuba.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience one of the most widely recognized euphonium soloists and all-around brass instrument performers in the world," Young said.

Mead has been a professional euphonium soloist for more than 18 years, after leading a successful career with some of the top British brass bands and working as a full-time music teacher. Known for his innovations in low brass instruments and his extensive touring, Mead performs with leading ensembles, orchestras, and brass and wind bands, and is in great demand as a recitalist and clinician.

Mead's Nov. 4 performance will feature the world premiere of "Three Expeditions," a new work written for euphonium and piano by Dr. Ethan Wickman, assistant professor of music at UW-Eau Claire.

"I am thrilled whenever a player the caliber of Steven Mead performs my work," Wickman said. "He is a world famous euphoniumist for a reason he possesses tremendous technical agility on the instrument, demonstrates profound musicality and is an exciting showman. When a composer can find a player with these attributes in abundance, as with Steven Mead, the work can reach an audience in the best possible way."

The concert will also feature Dr. Barbara Young, lecturer of music, on piano; and the Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Peter Haberman, assistant professor of music.

Mead started playing tenor horn at the age of 6 and moved to the euphonium when he was finally strong enough to hold the instrument. He eventually took lessons with legendary brass band euphoniumist Trevor Groom. Mead founded the British Tuba Quartet, set up euphonium schools in Japan and the Netherlands, among others, and is responsible for establishing master classes for euphonium in six countries. He currently is a senior tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, widely regarded as the No. 1 music conservatory for euphonium and baritone in the U.K.

Mead's appearance is made possible through the support of the Royal Northern College of Music, Besson Musical Instruments, the UW-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts and the UW-Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

For more information, contact Dr. Jerry Young, professor of music, at jyoung@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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