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A Touch of Brass

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A Touch of Brass (ATOB) quintet has thrilled, entertained and educated audiences since its formation in 1978. Cofounded by its tubist, David Sabourin, the ensemble has toured across Canada, and around the world. ATOB enjoys ongoing creative relationships with some of Vancouver’s finest composers and arrangers, and has been thrilled to champion music created in BC on the concert stage and in recording.

The quintet is expert in virtually every style of music and is in demand all over BC for both recitals and educational clinics. The members of the quintet have established distinguished careers as individual performers, as teachers and clinicians, and also as professional performers in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and many ensembles throughout the province, including some of Vancouver’s finest jazz ensembles.

The quintet was first formed in 1976 by current member David Sabourin. During its first year, the original members studied at the Banff Center with members of the Canadian Brass, then began performing in the Vancouver area. In 1977, the quintet won first place in the Canadian Music Competition (the national Kiwanis festival) in Toronto. At this point the ensemble changed membership as some players stayed in Toronto to further their studies. In 1978, the quintet was hired by the Courtenay Youth Music Centre where the ensemble began to develop its repertoire and concert style by arranging and commissioning music unique to Touch of Brass.

From 1979 to 1988, Touch of Brass began touring throughout BC and Canada performing over 100 concerts a year, culminating in a world tour of Russia, England, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and India. This version of the quintet stayed together until 1989 at which time several members went on to other careers (that didn't involve travel!).

In 1996, the quintet started performing again with David, Geoff Leader (French Horn), Tom Shorthouse (Trumpet), Jim Littleford (Trumpet) and Jeremy Berkman (Trombone). Nick Anderson joined ATOB as its French Horn player in 2016. The members of Touch of Brass perform with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony and are active as music educators for organizations such as Kwantlen College , University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Academy of Music.

The members of A Touch of Brass are:

Tom Shorthouse Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet, Piccolo Trumpet
Jim Littleford Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet, Piccolo Trumpet
Nick Anderson French Horn
Jeremy Berkman Trombone, Euphonium
David Sabourin Tuba

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