fbpx Skip to main content

Celestial Brass

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00pm


Celestial Brass

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00pm


Celestial Brass

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00pm


Small Space Series

Hear our talented musicians up close in intimate settings near you


First Congregational Church of Greenwich,
108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich


75 minutes with an intermission

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00pm

About this performance

Nothing compares to a brass quintet and a mighty organ presenting truly transcendent music for the soul in a stunning church acoustic.

Donald Batcheldertrumpet
John Dent, trumpet
Eva Conti, horn
Richard Clark, trombone
Brian Brown, tuba
Craig Symons, organ

Musical Program to include

Tomaso Albinoni, arr. Donald Batchelder Sonata St. Mark

Johann Sebastian Bach  My Spirit Be Joyful

Giovanni Gabrieli  Canzona per sonare No. 1

Giuseppe Verdi O Terra Addio from Aida

Richard Strauss, arr. Gary Olson Feierlicher Einzug

Don Batchelder trumpet

Donald Batchelder has served as Principal Trumpet with the Stamford Symphony Orchestra since 1987. Recognized as an outstanding soloist and orchestral trumpeter in the New York area for many years, he performs frequently with the Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway, and is Principal Trumpet with the New York City Opera. He is Associate Professor of Trumpet and Coordinator of Brass at Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music. Don also is Principal Trumpet in the New Jersey Festival Orchestra.

Don is a featured soloist on composer David Sampson’s recent Summit Records CD Notes From Faraway Places (2016). “The performance of the entire suite is beautifully managed, the lonely lines impeccably judged.” (Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine). He is a founding member of the Quiet City Chamber Ensemble, and is featured on that group’s acclaimed world premiere recording of the chamber version of Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, adapted by saxophone soloist Christopher Brellochs, on the Sono Luminus label (2011).  Among notable solo appearances: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with the Stamford Symphony and the Sherman Chamber Ensemble, When Speaks the Signal-Trumpet Tone by David Gillingham, with both the Montclair State University Wind Ensemble and the Ridgewood Concert Band, the Shostakovich Concerto for Piano and Trumpet with both the Stamford Symphony and the Windham Chamber Music Festival, a featured solo role at the 2008 New York Brass Conference, the world premiere of Trent Johnson’s Concerto for Trumpet and Organ and David Sampson’s Triptych with the Westfield Symphony.

Don earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Rutgers in 2016 where he received the Irene Alm Award for excellence in performance and scholarly research. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the Juilliard School where he studied with William Vacchiano and Mel Broiles.  Other influential teachers include David Krauss, Vince Penzarella, Arnold Jacobs and Philip Smith.

John Dent trumpet

John Dent performs regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York City Opera, and the New York Pops. As a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, he performs at Carnegie Hall and at the Bard Music Festival. Solo appearances include performances on Live from Lincoln Center with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and at the OK Mozart Festival in Oklahoma. John is currently performing in the Broadway revival of Carousel. Previous Broadway credits include She Loves Me, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Candide, Man of La Mancha, The Music Man, On the Twentieth Century, and The Sound of Music. A native of Tennessee, John is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Juilliard School.

Eva Conti horn

Eva Conti , French hornist, is currently in her 12th season as a member of the Orchestra Lumos (formerly Stamford Symphony). She is also in her 24th season as Principal horn with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She is a regular member of the Boca Symphonia and Berkshire Opera Orchestras. She has held the position of principal horn with the New Israeli Opera, Israel Camerata and the Haifa Symphony. Eva has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, New Jersey Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, The Radio City Orchestra, Aspen Quintet and in numerous Broadway shows. She has toured several times in the US, Canada and Europe as a member of the Barbra Streisand Orchestra and is on the CD and DVD of the 2006 US tour and the recently released back to Brooklyn tour of 2013.

Ms. Conti holds a Master’s of Music Degree in French Horn from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Guitar and in Biology from the University of Rhode Island.

Eva is also an accomplished flamenco dancer and has been a soloist, featured dancer and musical arranger with the Alborada Spanish Dance Theater for 10 seasons. She has been a dance soloist with numerous orchestras and chamber groups including Orchestra Lumos (formerly Stamford Symphony)
 in 2016.

Richard Clark trombone

Richard Clark, has long-time experience as one of the leading tenor/alto/bass trombone/euphonium players in the greater NYC region. He is principal trombonist of the American Symphony Orchestra, the Stamford Symphony Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival orchestra, the New York Pops orchestra, Northeastern Pa Philharmonic, the Amici New York Orchestra and the American Classical Orchestra. Mr Clark has also performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque. He has been staff trombonist for many Broadway musicals, including On the Town, Billy Elliot, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Candide, and The King and I. Mr. Clark is adjunct professor of trombone and brass chamber ensembles at William Paterson University.

Brian Brown tuba

Brian Brown has been the Principal Tuba of The Stamford Symphony Orchestra since 1980. He is also Principal Tuba of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and The Philly Pops. As an active freelance musician, Mr. Brown has performed and recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. He is the tuba player for NFL Films.

Mr Brown is Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at The University of Delaware and is a lecturer in the Music Department of Princeton University.

Brian Brown earned his Bachelor and Master degrees from the Juilliard School. His major teachers include Paul Krzywicki, Don Harry, Donald Harwood ,Vincent Penzarella and John Fletcher.

Craig Symons organ

Since October, 2010, Craig Scott Symons has served First Congregational Church of Greenwich, CT as Director of Music/Organist. At First Church, Craig administers a traditional music program of 4 vocal, a handbell choir, and a performing arts series entitled First Music and Arts for the historic 1200-member congregation which was founded in 1665.

Craig began his musical studies at the age of seven and at age 13 attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with Robert Murphy, and graduated with a major in organ. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Church Music from Wayne State University where he was a student of Ray Ferguson, and continued his graduate studies at the University of Michigan where he received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Church Music as a student of Robert Glasgow and Dr. James Kibbie, respectively.

In 1990, Craig founded Ars Nova, a 24-voice, semiprofessional chamber choir, which he directed until his retirement from that group in 2007. He has served as music director for the Detroit Edison Glee Club and the Wayne State University Men’s Glee Club, as well as guest conductor for various church and community performances. He has also performed organ recitals throughout Michigan as well as Boston, New York City, and Washington D. C.

Craig  has served on the boards of many professional organizations, including ACDA-Michigan as Music in Worship Repertoire and Standards Chair, as Dean of the Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Chorister’s Guild, and Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians.

Craig also serves as Music Director/Pianist for Blue Notes, which was founded over 60 years ago, and are a group of women who use their voices for a good cause.  Singing 4-part harmony and performing music from Big Band to Broadway, the group performs at senior centers and assisted living venues throughout Southern Fairfield County, as well as at the Darien Community Association.

In January 2013, Craig was honored to be appointed Music in Worship R & S Chair for the American Choral Directors Association Connecticut state chapter.

*artists and programs subject to change