By practicing a highly disciplined skill to incite feelings of dance and excitement, the Foothills Brass Quintet have appropriately given themselves the motto of ‘Serious fun.’
“We take the music very seriously but we want the audience to have fun with us as we’re doing it,” said trumpeter Chris Morrison.
“In the indie scene and rock ’n’ roll scenes I know they tour mostly to support recordings, but for us it’s the other way around,” he said. “We mostly tour but sometimes do recordings.”
In the 35 years since the inception of the Foothills Brass Quintet, the group has release six albums on CD, in addition to a few other projects on tape cassette “in the early days.”
To maximize listener engagement, the quintet focuses its attention on their live show rather than the studio.
“Most people can appreciate the combination of the visual with the sound. The sound of live music is always different than recorded, it’s a much different experience,” he said. “Seeing the people on stage who are creating the music really adds to it, a large part of what we do is interacting with the audience.”
When they’re not making music, the group are often telling jokes, stories, or giving the audience hints about fun stuff to listen to in their music.
“We just generally have a good time on stage and we want the audience to have fun with us.”
They don’t stick to any one genre, leaving their creative capabilities open to all possibilities.
“Sometimes we do a gospel and then Dixieland version of Amazing Grace, and it’s almost like I’m being a preacher with my trumpet for a while,” he said.
When it’s time to play a country song, Morrison switches his trumpet for the steel guitar as his bandmate leads on the French horn.
“You have to reflect whatever the music is. We cover everything from very slow and meditative to some very fast and exciting jazz.”
Earlier in his career, Morrison, who’s been with the quintet since the beginning, figured he would become a travelling musician upon retirement, continually finding new places to share his music. But as he continues making music as he tacks on the years, he’s beginning to think he’ll never retire.
“(Working as a touring musician is) what I’m already doing so why would I quit.”
The Foothills Brass Quintet is being presented by the Penticton Community Concerts at the Cleland Theatre on Dec. 4.
“Brass is fantastic, it’s very christmasy and they’re world class guys, they have a great program and people are going to love it,” said Jane Shaak, executive director of the Shatford Centre.
“The Penticton Community Concerts have been bringing these amazing performances to Penticton and it’s been an important part of our community. They’re well-known for being a lot of fun too.”
Tickets cost $30 for adults and $5 for students and are available for purchase at the Shatford Centre, 760 Main St.