In Bands, Experiential Learning, Guest Artists

Canadian Brass

Sampson rehearsed and played with Canadian Brass in a recent BRAVO! masterclass


Students in the School of Music recently met and performed with renowned quintet Canadian Brass. While the masterclass was one of many presented by guest artists through BYU’s BRAVO! Performing Arts Series, it proved to be a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for music education major and tuba player Jared Sampson.

“One takeaway from the masterclass was the entertainment value Canadian Brass maintains,” Sampson said. “Tuba player Chuck Daellenbach plays really well, but he’s also an excellent performer.”

Canadian Brass

Achilles Liarmakopoulos watches as other members of Canadian Brass give feedback during the masterclass. (Mason Graham)

As a performer himself, Sampson hopes to combat stigmas directed at tuba players. He was grateful for the example of Daellenbach’s musicality and showmanship on an instrument that is sometimes misunderstood and devalued in the music world.

“Unfortunately, tuba players get a bad rap for lacking social skills or not being able to play real music,” said Sampson. “That’s something that I actively tried to change, the stigma that tubas only play hokey-pokey baselines and polkas. I try to show that we can actually play some excellent music, performed very, very well.”

Sampson found the members of Canadian Brass to be among the most relatable and approachable visiting artists he has met through BRAVO! masterclasses. This more personable approach has been key to the ensemble’s success as they have sustained a decades-long career with a winning combination of first-rate music, creativity and humor — including an unconventional take on the classic opera “Carmen” involving wigs, tutus and other props.

“They’re great at what they do, but it’s not like you’re sitting down listening to Bach just because it’s Bach,” said Sampson. “It’s Canadian Brass — it’s both entertaining and educational.”

Sampson’s lessons learned from Canadian Brass have helped him as he looks forward to his future in music performance.

“Right now I’m working on starting a YouTube channel,” he said. “I recently became a registered street performer in Las Vegas and I will be  registered in Salt Lake soon. I’m trying to raise money for charity and just encourage people to do good, get outside the boundaries that they set for themselves and make a difference in their lives. And I’m trying to do it in less conventional ways, which is what Canadian Brass does best.”

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