The Davis Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Lester Lehr, will perform a varied program of brass classics at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at the Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall, 421 D St. Funds raised by the concert will benefit Polio Plus, a Rotary International program that seeks to eradicate polio worldwide.
The concert is free but donations will be taken at the door. The suggested donation for the concert is $20 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students.
The program will include “Stardust,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “12th Street Rag” and other classics.
The Davis Brass Ensemble features Victor Pietrzak, Brian Wood, Thomas Goff and Bob Bacchus, trumpet; Christopher Jones, French horn; Martin Brunelle, Kurt Schmidt, Patrick O’Neal and Walter Johnson, trombone; and Donna Pool, tuba.
The DBE was formed in 1974 as a brass quintet. It grew to an octet, than to an 18-member ensemble and occasionally appears as a 21-member brass and percussion ensemble.
The first official concert was a 10-member ensemble in 1992 at the opening of the newly renovated Davis Varsity Theatre. The group has performed at benefits for the Sutter Davis Hospital Foundation, the Yolo Family Service Agency, International House-Davis, Davis Junior High School Band programs, the Sacramento Receiving Home and Safe Ground.
The Davis Brass Ensemble performs in numerous local concert series and played at the dedication for the UC Davis Medical Center’s Cancer Survivor Park. In addition, they have played many times at the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame dinners at UCD, the Memorial Day celebration and at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.
Lehr, a Sacramento State University graduate, studied trombone with Norman Hunt, Emory Remington, Robert Marstellar, Tommy Johnson, Bryon Peebles and Lewis van Haney. He has more than 40 years experience and has toured Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
He founded the Sacramento Valley Band Association and serves as its vice president. He is the director of the Sacramento Valley Symphonic Winds and a member of the Sacramento Brass Quintet.
This concert will benefit Polio Plus, which began in 1985. Since its inception, Rotary and partners have helped to reduce the annual number of cases from 350,000 to less than 250, according to a news release. Rotary has given more than $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to help more than 2 billion children in 122 countries. Today’s target nations are Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
A new campaign this year will see every dollar donated to Rotary matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The performance is presented by Valley Artist Productions Inc., which is based in Davis. The nonprofit organization is joined by the following sponsors: Davis Rotary, The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, Davis Waste Removal, Rachel and Don Kessler, Wells Fargo Bank, Nugget Markets and Coldwell Banker Doug Arnold Real Estate/Dave Taormino/Doug Arnold.