Seraph Brass was founded by trumpet soloist Mary Elizabeth Bowden with the mission of elevating and showcasing the excellence of female brass players and highlighting musicians from marginalized groups both in personnel and in programming. Winners of the American Prize in Chamber Music, the group has been praised for their “beautiful sounds" (American Record Guide), "fine playing” (Gramophone), and “staggeringly high caliber of performance” (Textura). Now in its ninth touring season, Seraph primarily performs as a quintet, with a dynamic roster drawing from America’s top brass musicians. The group is currently in residency at the Walton Art Center’s Artosphere Festival, alongside the Dover Quartet. Seraph Brass is a Yamaha Performing Group and performs exclusively on Yamaha instruments.
2022-23 performance highlights include Anthony DiLorenzo’s Chimera for brass quintet and orchestra with the Florence Symphony in November, and performances at Chamber Music Raleigh, Chautauqua Institution, University of Toronto, Asheville Chamber Music Series, National Gallery of Art in D.C., Diehn Concert Series in Norfolk, UNC Greensboro, and extensive touring around the United States through Live On Stage. In 2023, Seraph will premiere and perform a new concerto commission from Jennifer Jolley at the 2023 American Trombone Workshop with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” The group will return to Lieksa Brass week in Finland in Summer 2023.
Seraph performs a diverse body of repertoire, ranging from original transcriptions to newly commissioned works and core classics. The group has commissioned new pieces by Catherine McMichael and Rene Orth; both featured on the Silver Medal Global Music Award-winning debut album Asteria, along with Wolf for solo soprano and brass quintet by Joseph Hallman. The group regularly participates in commissioning consortiums, recently supporting works by Kevin Day, Mischa Zupko, and Lillian Yee. Seraph’s concerto performances have included Rick DeJonge’s Prelude and Fantasy and James Stephenson’s Dodecafecta.
Members of Seraph Brass are passionate about music education, and hold teaching positions at the University of North Texas, Shenandoah Conservatory, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In each of their tours, the group works to provide educational outreach to local schools, and they also offer a variety of entrepreneurship and career development workshops, in addition to traditional brass pedagogy and technique master classes.
Seraph has toured around the world, including performances at the Tafalla Brass Week in Spain, Lieksa Brass Week in Finland, the Busan Maru International Music Festival in South Korea, the Forum Cultural Guanajuato in Mexico, International Women’s Brass Conference, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, and a two-week tour across China. Recent touring highlights have included shows and residencies at the Lyric Chamber Music Society in NYC, Interlochen Arts Academy, Virginia Arts Festival, University of North Carolina School for the Arts, Michigan State University, Sarasota’s Artist Series Concerts, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, and Del Valle Fine Arts Presents in California. The group has also toured extensively as Allied Concert Services artists.
Members of Seraph Brass have performed with such esteemed ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Marlboro Music Festival, Lucerne Music Festival in Switzerland, Britt Festival Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, and the Daejeon Philharmonic. Many members of Seraph Brass performed with Adele on her North American tour.
"Seraph immediately grabbed attention with their signature opener, the Prelude from Grieg’s Holberg Suite, flawlessly tossed off from memory at a brisk tempo, then turned to Verdi’s “Sempre Libera” from La traviata, with Bowden taking the role of Violetta in expressive, diva-worthy melismas."
“The high calibre of the playing is often staggering (see the high-energy roller-coaster of a ride that is Dilorenzo's three-and-a-half-minute Go)… One comes away from the release marveling at the performances and the rich, soaring sound generated by the five musicians.”
“This is a very fine brass quintet that makes beautiful sounds."