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Narragansett Brass Quintet to perform in Wednesday Chamber Music Series, March 23

The Narragansett Brass Quintet – joined by guest trumpet and horn player Greg Whitaker – will perform in the Wednesday Chamber Music Series on March 23. The show will be held at 1 p.m. in the Nazarian Center's Sapinsley Hall.

Joseph Foley
On the program are Morley Calvert's “Suite from the Monteregian Hills,” named for the mountain range extending from Quebec to America, and film composer Michael Kamen's “Quintet.” Pieces by Bach and Handel will also be performed.

“It should be a real nice mix and entertaining for the audience,” said Joseph Foley, principal trumpet in the Narragansett Brass Quintet.

Foley is an associate professor of music at Rhode Island College, and studio instructor for all undergraduate and graduate trumpet students at the college. He also conducts the RIC Concert Jazz Band.

The Narragansett Brass Quintet formed about nine years ago with the intent to be a “working quintet,” to perform at weddings and other similar functions, Foley said.

Today, the quintet is more focused on education and recruitment, according to Foley; the Narragansett Brass Quintet performs for local high schools, and answers student questions about what it's like to be a music major and professional musician.

“We really enjoy going out to the schools and we've been able to recruit several of our best players at RIC this way,” Foley said.

RIC alum Samuel Costa '08, a former student of Foley's, frequently performs with the Narragansett Brass Quintet as second trumpet.

“It's rewarding to know that our graduates are able to play at such a high professional level,” Foley said. “The students we play for seem very impressed by that.”


Greg Whitaker
Foley studied trumpet at Boston University, receiving his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, and was twice named “Outstanding Brass Player.” He regularly performs with the Boston Symphony and Boston Ballet orchestras, and has been as a soloist with the Boston Classical and Boston Pop Esplanade orchestras.

Foley, recipient of six grand prizes from major chamber music competitions, has over 50 brass arrangements to his credit, and has performed in more than a dozen countries around the world.

Other members of the quintet include Thomas Gregory on tuba, Kevin Kane on trombone and Sheffra Spiridopoulos on horn, all of whom are adjunct music faculty members at RIC.

Gregory '03 received his Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music and Masters of Arts in Teaching from RIC. He has performed with Harry Connick Jr. and the Rhode Island Civic Choral and Orchestra, and has appeared in 38 states in the U.S.


Kevin Kane
Kane '72 received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Masters of Arts in Teaching from RIC. He was the choir director for the Scituate Middle and High Schools for 25 years. Since leaving the public school system, Kane has been an adjunct at five local colleges. He has performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Band.

Spiridopoulos, a graduate of Vanderbilt and Michigan State Universities, has performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and New England Brass Band.

Greg Whitaker has performed regularly with the Boston Pops since 1987, touring the U.S. and Asia and appearing on television with the group. Whitaker spent 1997 performing with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway.

After the performance of the Narragansett Brass Quintet, there will be a question-and-answer session with the performers.

Admission for this event is free, though donations are welcome. For more information on the Wednesday Chamber Music Series, call (401) 456-9883, or visit www.ric.edu/pfa .