St. Charles native Scott Tegge of Gaudete Brass on Cedille debut CD
|The members of Gaudete Brass are Bill Baxtresser (from left), Julia Filson, Ryan Berndt, Scott Tegge and Paul Von Hoff. (Submitted photo)|
Scott Tegge, the tubist who co-founded Gaudete Brass — a quintet serious about its music — jokes that “as long as you’re blowing in the small side, it seems to work OK.”
The ensemble is known for historically informed performances of Renaissance melodies, as well as brand new compositions recently commissioned for the group. The fresh works are featured on “Chicago Moves,” the group’s debut CD with Cedille Records. The quintet’s first recording, “Brass Outings” (2006), won CD Baby Editors’ Choice distinction, and was nominated for Just Plain Folks Best Classical Chamber Album. Gaudete Brass has presented educational programs at the Juilliard and Eastman schools of music. Tegge, a graduate of what is now St. Charles East High School, says Gaudete is Latin for rejoice.
Is the breadth of repertoire a challenge for brass instruments?
The brass quintet is a genre that’s only been around since the 1940s and 1950s. (People) think of fanfares and loud exciting playing. We want to take it down as a sit-down concert chamber ensemble, so we can compete with string quartets. We’re really proud of the (new CD).
How did ‘Chicago Moves’ come about?
Cedille (Records) had all those pieces written for us, except for ‘Copperwave.’ It’s a fun process. Trying to find composers that all five agree upon … can be hard at times. We’re really happy with the people we’ve worked with. Building that relationship with composers, so they get to know us as they write the piece (and) fit what our individual players are about. In our concerts, we do a lot of talking about why we love this music and to break down that wall — things to listen for. … You’re dealing with an audience that’s may be not fluent in new music. (We) don’t have Beethoven and Bach and Brahms writing for us. We have Sampson, Cheetham (and) Brian Baxter, a Geneva High School alum.
When did the music bug bite?
Sixth grade at Thompson Middle School. I really got involved through middle and high school, and started coming downtown weekends for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. I (first) played the flute. I didn’t like that so much. I tried out all the brass instruments. (The tuba and I) hit it off. It opened up a lot of opportunities. Most bands have a lot of trumpets, flutes, saxophones, but are usually in need of tubas.
When did you decide on a music career?
It had to be in sophomore year of high school, when the Chicago Youth Symphony had a concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Walking out on the stage to play and looking up at all the lights, I thought, ‘This is pretty cool. I can do this.’ Then I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
You teach at the college level, and offer training at high schools in St. Charles and Downers Grove and other venues.
I had a lot of great teachers and coaches when I was young. They gave me opportunities and put me on the right path. I feel fortunate to now, in a sense, give back and teach and coach … to get the young excited about music. (To) take them through how to be committed to something is something I really enjoy.
HEAR THEM PLAY
WHAT Gaudete Brass, whose “Chicago Moves” CD was just released, will give a performance with the symphonic bands at St. Charles East High School and a concert at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles
WHEN 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 and 3 p.m. April 7, respectively