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Music to fill the air at a "Brass Family Affair"

A group of local musicians is inviting your family to hear their family as they bring their sound into the Newcastle Public Library’s Summer Reading Program for a “Brass Family Affair.”

The local quintet Boulevard Brass will perform beginning at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, June 29, as part of Newcastle’s Independence Day celebration in Veterans Park.

Boulevard Brass consists of Jeff Curtin and Mervin Tay on trumpet; Logan Fish on French Horn; Daryl Nagode on trombone and Will Bishop on tuba.

The Norman- based quintet has played music together for about two years and combines traditional brass sounds with a wide of range of musical types, from historical Renaissance pieces to modern pop songs.

And as they get more notoriety, they get busier, playing in numerous schools, festivals and other venues throughout the region.

“Around the holidays was a lot, and December was literally ridiculous,” said Tay, who is a Masters student in trumpet at the University of Oklahoma. “We had one week where we had something like six out of seven days with performances.

As part of their performance for the library audience, they will play some old favorites as well as some unexpected tunes sure to bring on some toe-tapping and maybe a few surprised reactions.

“Mervin is such a good arranger, he can put together almost anything, so people can hear some tunes they know but aren’t things they are used to hearing from a brass quintet,” said Nagode, an OU graduate who some may recognize as a member of popular local cover band Banana Seat.

Group members will show off what makes each of their instruments work and have portions of songs that feature each. And then they’ll have a little fun with the youngsters in the audience as they demonstrate and play some unusual homemade instruments, too.

And Tay has put together a special arrangement of music to go along with a reading of The Jungle Book. It is a library, after all.

Boulevard Brass members are excited about showing off their musical passion, particularly to the young audience members who may be getting their first up-close taste of their type of music.

And they hope to make a better first impression than one of their own members got to music.

“The first time I heard an orchestra, I was in 4th grade in Dayton, Ohio, we went on a school field trip and I thought ‘this is just horrible, all classical music, stale, no interaction with the crowd,’” said Curtin, who is the lead trumpet instructor at Southern Nazarene University.

“Luckily, I stuck with it and it really grew on me. We have ways to present our music that do make it more interesting and appealing to young people.”

They also hope to influence a few up-and-coming musicians to keep going with it.

“The biggest thing is just to be having fun playing music,” Nagode said. “It doesn’t have to be some sort of classroom thing. Music is also something you can do your whole life. My professor has been teaching for 50 years now. That’s amazing.”

This year’s Summer Reading Program is presented with the support of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oklahoma Arts Council, Hitachi Computer Products of America, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Sonic, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, the Pioneer Library System Foundation and Friends of the Library groups throughout the Pioneer Library System.

Find out more about this summer’s activities from the summer edition of the Pioneer Library System’s WORD Magazine or by following the library system on Twitter @mylibrary2go or on Facebook at “Pioneer Library System.”

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