Orange Alert

Syracuse University Brass Ensemble to Perform at Gettysburg Brass Band Festival

Award-winning, 35-member group is based in College of Arts and Sciences

June 6, 2017, by Kevin Morrow

James T. Spencer
James T. Spencer

The 35-member Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE) is one of 14 groups from six states invited to perform June 8-10 at the 2017 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The SUBE Euphonium Ensemble has also been invited to give a recital during the festival.

“It’s an honor to be invited to share the stage with so many prestigious national award-winning bands,” says SUBE Director James T. Spencer, professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor and founding executive director of the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute. “We also expect to connect with the many, many SU alums in the area who we’ve heard will be coming to the performance. It’s an exciting time to hear and present some wonderful music and meet other musicians and alumni from across the nation.”

The SUBE—the permanent ensemble-in-residence of Syracuse University through the College of Arts and Sciences and Hendricks Chapel—is composed of students, faculty and staff from Syracuse University; faculty and staff from SUNY Upstate Medical University; and Central New York professional-level musicians.

SUBE is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
SUBE is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The SUBE presents about 20 performances annually, including the very popular “Holidays at Hendricks” concert presented each December with the Hendricks Chapel Choir and broadcast on WCNY-TV and WCNY-FM throughout New York state and southern Canada. The highly accomplished group has also released six CDs and eight DVDs, and has twice placed first nationally in the Open Division of the North American Brass Band Association Championship Festival.

For the annual Gettysburg Brass Band Festival—now in its 20th year—the ensemble will perform seven selections in a 45- to 50-minute recital on Saturday, June 10, at 3 p.m. on the festival main stage at the Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary campus. Following are the pieces, with commentary by Spencer:

“Horizons”: a relatively new piece by Paul Lovatt Cooper, whom Spencer calls a rising star in the brass band world. “It’s an exciting opener that features a modern version of various brass choirs from within the band, answering each other in antiphonal style.”

“Phantom Menace: Flag Parade”: music of composer John Williams from “Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace.” “It’s brilliant fanfare music that surrounds the pod races in the movie and among the best in the Star Wars series.”

“Turandot Third Act”: “The beautiful music of Gicacomo Puccini from the opera features one of the most famous solos (the aria “Nessun Dorma”) and concludes with the jubilant ending to the opera.”

“Blades of Toledo”: “A Spanish-style overture to celebrate the famous swords produced in Toledo, Spain, and featuring the trombone section.”

“Indiana Jones”: music by John Williams from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

“James Bond 007”: “One of the most iconic film series in history; this arrangement features many of the best-known themes from the series.”

“Invincible Eagle”: “One of John Philip Sousa’s greatest, although lesser known, marches was written for the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo.”

Other pieces to be presented include “Thor, the Dark World” and “Disney on Parade.”

The SUBE Euphonium Ensemble will perform an hour-long concert featuring 15 selections, ranging from the Baroque to modern, the day before: on Friday, June 9, at 8 p.m. in the historic downtown Gettysburg Open Minds/ACNB Quadrant. Group members are William Abdallah, Craig Elwood, Corey Riley, Jackie Riley, James T. Spencer, Sarah Spencer and Raymond Sturge.

Members of the full SUBE attending Gettysburg are:

James T. Spencer, director

Craig Elwood, associate director

Trumpet: Bert Bookhout, Steve Carney , Kaitlyn Dehority, David Driesen (Eb soprano), Ralph Dudgeon, Craig Elwood (flugelhorn), Gary LaPoint, Jennifer Linney, Joshua Nightingale, Nolan Ostrowski , Bryon Pagot, Jeffrey Passetti, Cori Patterson, Scott Rutledge, Lee Turner (Eb sopano), Walt Vertigan.

Horn: Allison Chartrand, Brad Foil, Mike Sponsler, Claire Tuxill McKenney, Audrey Turner, Pat Votra.

Euphonium/Baritone: Bill Abdallah, Corey Riley, Jackie Riley, Ray Sturge.

Trombone: Clifford Crain Jr., Jim D’Addario, Ginger Dudgeon, Rob Enslin, Jim Greenwald, Doug Reicher, Philip Rice, Jon Rossi.

Tuba: Loyal Mitchell, Matthew Patterson, Paul Sherman, Al Thomson.

Percussion: T.J. James, Mary Kasprzyk, Mike Tyszko.

For more information on the 2017 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival, including the full schedule and background on all of the bands, visit Visit for more information on the ensemble, a schedule of upcoming concerts and audio selections from the group.


James Spencer Professor

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin