(Posted November 24, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Combining virtuoso musicianship with an easy-going stage presence, the Synergy Brass Quintet will effortlessly entertain while playing holiday music ranging from pop to classical in concert at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849). General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

A touring juggernaut, the quintet plays more than 300 concerts a year. The group also specializes in music education, offering master classes and workshops at many of the colleges and universities where they perform. The group also presents programs at public schools while on tour. To date, they have visited more than 500 public schools.

Synergy prides itself on using classical music selections as an educational and entertainment vehicle and then transitioning the concert into other forms of music. The Juniata concert will feature holiday music, including selections from Handel's "Messiah" as well as works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Michael Praetorius.

The second half of the program will be dedicated to various Christmas carols such as "Carol of the Bells," "What Child is This?" "Angels We have Heard on High," "Joy to the World" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Each member of Synergy Brass has extensive experience in performing and education. Jon Hurrell, French horn, has composed film scores and has taught on the faculty at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute. Trumpeter Bobby Thorp started his career as a member of the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra. He decided to concentrate on classical music and founded the Synergy group in 1996.

Tuba player Jesse Chavez studied tuba at Tennessee Technological University and toured with the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble. Trombonist Jordan Witt studied at the University of Cincinnati's College of Music. He was a member of the college's brass ensemble and performed with the Cincinnati Pops orchestra. He also is a member of the Hudson River Brass Quintet. Trumpet player Rachel Rodriguez has played with many brass ensembles, including the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps, Brass Theater and the Canadian Brass Quintet. She also earned a doctoral degree at the University of North Texas and has earned such awards as Best Cornet and Best Soloist at the U.S. Open Brass Band Championships.

Synergy Brass has served as artists in residence at the Tanglewood Institute and performed at such prestigious festivals as the Ravinia Music Festival, the Bethlehem Musikfest, the Tanglewood Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival. In 2003, the quintet was asked to perform on the premiere recording of Samuel Adler's "Transfiguration: An Ecumenical Mass."

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.