When the Annapolis Brass Quintet disbanded in the spring of 1993, after 22 years of exceptional music-making, its fans hoped against hope that the pioneering ensemble would consider reassembling for occasional forays into the brass chamber music repertoire they did so much to popularize.
But true to their word, trumpeters David Cran and Bob Suggs, French hornist Sharon Tiebert, and trombonists Wayne Wells and Robert Posten went their separate ways and avoided reunion concerts of any kind.
The members will reunite for a Christmas Concert at historic St. Anne's Church in Annapolis at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. The concert will be performed in memory of master guitarist Charlie Byrd, an Annapolis area music legend who died last year.
"We had done so much with Charlie and still feel so strongly about him as a musician and friend that we've felt an urge to do something in his memory," says bass trombonist Posten. "Even though we knew he was ill, his death hit us very hard. So gathering again in his memory really seems like an appropriate and exciting thing to do."
Proceeds from this program of carols, chorales and other seasonal fare will be donated to the Peabody Institute sustaining fund for guitar studies that has been endowed in Byrd's memory.
Also appearing will be the Joe Byrd Trio, a jazz ensemble of guitar, bass and drums led by Charlie's brother, bassist Joe Byrd.
A seven-year hiatus from the concert circuit has seen many changes in the lives of the Annapolis Brass Quintet members. Lead trumpet player David Cran serves as director of the St. Francis Home for the elderly in Richmond, Va.
Suggs is on the faculty of Villa Julie College, and Wells is back on the faculty at Towson University after a year's sabbatical in Kansas.
Tiebert is an administrator at a Johns Hopkins physics laboratory, and Posten has founded a music publishing company specializing in the many arrangements he had a hand in unearthing during the quintet's artistic heyday.
"The logistics involved in simply bringing us all together were next to impossible, but we've made the commitment, and the excitement has already started. And of course, we expect to be terrific," Posten says, laughing.
Tickets for the concert are $22 and may be purchased by calling 410-757-2927, at the quintet's Web site, www.annapolisbrass.com, or through the mail at P.O. Box 161, Arnold 21012.