In April 2018, the revered brass quintet Canadian Brass visited Ball State for five days. The visit included a masterclass with School of Music brass students, rehearsals with the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Lab Ensemble, a performance in Sursa Hall, a talk with tubist Chuck Daellenbach, and a joint concert at Fort Wayne’s historic Embassy Theatre.
The quintet also spent several days rehearsing and recording the “Glenn Miller Songbook” track, featured on its newly released Christmas album Christmas Time Is Here: The Encore. The track is a medley comprised of “Moonlight Serenade,” “String of Pearls,” “At Last, Christmas Song,” “American Patrol,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “In the Mood.” The quintet worked closely with Christoph Thompson, co-director of the Music Music Production program and a Ball State alumnus, who served as the engineer. Below is Dr. Thompson’s reflection on the recording sessions and several photos.
I remember listening to the Canadian Brass’s recordings of Bach when I was young, it was a real honor to work with them. The session was a lot of fun, the players are all top notch and maintained their chops from beginning to the end of the long session. The session also highlighted how good Sursa hall sounds and its versatility. The reverberation time and color was perfect for the music. Because of their favorable sound on brass I used several ribbon microphones by Royer on the trumpets, horn and trombone, and DPA and AEA microphones on the tuba. The main array and ambient mics consisted of DPA and Schoeps.