Riverside Brass Ensemble

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The Riverside Brass Ensemble formed in 2004.  Its musicians are committed to performing exciting classical music to the highest artistic standards.

Since that time, the Riverside Brass has appeared in the concert series of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and King’s Chapel.  It has become one of the preferred brass ensembles of many prestigious local institutions, including the Old North Church, Chorus Pro Musica, and the Memorial Church at Harvard University, where the Riverside Brass recently premiered composer Carson Cooman’s Litany of Lightwith the University Choir.  The Riverside Brass has also played an integral part at special events such as the inauguration of the new Chancellor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston—not to mention numerous weddings and other ceremonies.

Be it music of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical—or something a little lighter—the Riverside Brass Ensemble performs with élan equally appreciated in recitals, ceremonies, and educational demonstrations.

 


Testimonials

 Geoffrey Shamu—Trumpet, Managing Director, and Arranger—received a Premier Prix de Trompette at the centralized competition of the Conservatories of the City of Paris.  He has performed in recital at many venues in Boston and Cambridge, as well as in Paris, France.  As a soloist, Mr. Shamu has played with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Cité, the Ensemble Polyphorum, the Brass Band de Paris, and—with organ and the choir of St. Michael’s Church—at Notre-Dame Cathedral.  In addition to Riverside Brass, he also performs regularly with the latin-infused classical ensemble ¡Con Fuego!,and the contemporary music ensemble Alea III.  With these chamber groups he has appeared at such festivals as Summer Music from Greensboro, Vermont, The BU Tanglewood Institute Faculty Concert Series in Lenox, Massachusetts, and the Hellenic Festival in Epidaurus, Greece.  In the popular realm, Geoffrey has played for productions of countless musical shows, spent several years with the reggae band Pressure Cooker, and appeared at Fenway Park with the Hot Tamale Brass Band.  He regularly performs with larger ensembles including the Orchestra of Indian Hill, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestra of Opera Boston (for its 2006 – 2007 season).Mr. Shamu teaches at the Community Music Center of Boston, where he serves as Co-chair of the Winds, Brass and Percussion Department.  He has taught at Boston University; the Young Musicians Camp in Evanston, Wyoming; the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan; and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, where he served as Trumpet Assistant.  He has presented master classes in Boston and across the country.  His teachers include Terry Everson, Mark Gould, Stephen Jones, Timothy Morrison, and Pierre Thibaud, with whom he studied as a Harriet Hale Woolley Fellow in Paris.  Mr. Shamu holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University, and an A.B. cum laude in Music from Harvard College.

 Misha Grandel began his trumpet studies in Moscow, Russia where he was born.  After graduating from the Tchaikovsky Central Music School, he emigrated with his family  to Israel, where he continued his studies at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem.  In 1991, Mr. Grandel joined the Israeli Defense Orchestra, in which he served for three years.  Shortly thereafter, he was accepted to the Amsterdam Conservatory to study with the Solo Trumpet of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.  Upon earning his Masters degree in performance, he returned to Israel to become the Principal Trumpet of the Israeli Sinfonietta Orchestra.  Since moving to Boston in 1999, Mr. Grandel performs regularly with various chamber as well as orchestral groups, and as a soloist.  His appearances include performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Jerusalem Symphony, among others.   Mr. Grandel is also a recipient of the American-Israeli Foundation Award.Mr. Grandel currently serves as the Principal Trumpet of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra..

 Trombonist, George Bentgrew up in Norfolk, Massachusetts, where he began to learn the trombone at age 7. Once reaching high school, he won numerous awards playing with the King Philip High School Bands. Mr. Bent also played several years with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic, touring Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico and Cuba, as well as playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.Mr. Bent studied music at Boston University ’s  College of  Fine Arts under trombone virtuoso Scott Hartman and also studied with Mark Cantrell, Erik Ruske, Norman Bolter, Ron Barron, and John Faieta He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Brass Performance as well as departmental honors from   Boston  University  in 2003.In addition to be a founding member of the Riverside Brass Ensemble, Mr. Bent has played with many groups to include; Boston Ballet Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Cape Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Granite State Symphony/Opera, New Hampshire Summer Music Festival, Nashua Symphony, Brockton Symphony, Chorus Pro Musica and the Chorus of Westerly.Mr. Bent has taught at the   Indian  Hill  Music  Center and King Philip High School. He has also coached the low brass section of the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and was a teaching assistant to Scott Hartman for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Trombone Seminar.

In addition to his playing, Mr. Bent is a firefighter and paramedic for the Town of Norwood, a part-time police officer for Norfolk Police, and a commercially-rated pilot.


 An accomplished orchestral and chamber musician, James Monaghan currently plays Bass Trombone for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, the Neponsit Valley Philharmonic, and the Riverside Brass Ensemble.He has also performed with the Albany Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Plymouth Philharmonic, Brockton Symphony, Nashua Symphony, Granite State Symphony, Portland Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica U.A.N.L. in Monterrey, Mexico, and with vocal ensembles including the Chorus Pro Musica, Emmanuel Music, and Granite State Opera.  In 2004, Mr. Monaghan was invited to perform at the Festival de musique on the Island of St. Barthélemy in the French West Indies.  He is also active in musical theater, performing on tenor and bass trombones—as well as tuba—for many theaters in New England.Mr. Monaghan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Trombone Performance from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with Ed Anderson and Carl Lenthe.  He then attended the Boston University College of Fine Arts as a graduate student of Scott Hartman.In addition to his busy performing career, James Monaghan has worked since 2004 in both artist relations and instrument manufacturing at the S.E. Shires Custom Brass Factory in Hopedale, Massachusetts.