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Brass Quintet Delights Darien Audience

Darien residents were delighted to hear a concert Sunday night at the Darien Library performed by a brass quintet of Stamford Symphony musicians.

"It was excellent," Darien resident Shirley Ottenstein said. "Beautifully performed and very entertaining. We're very fortunate to have a concert like this given by the library."

Daniel Grabois, Benjamin Herrington, John Rojak, Michael Blutman and Timothy Schadt played an arrangement of classical music, little known holiday pieces and old favorites such as "Jingle Bells" to a packed hall. In between sets, they shared some of their personal history as well as the history of the music they were playing.

"Hearing the history of the pieces was very touching," said Patti Leger. Other attendees, including Jo Lombardo, Paula Ferraina and Josephine Palaia, said they had a great time as well, and they enjoyed the interplay between the musicians. "You can tell they were all good friends," Leger said.

The musicians, who have been playing together for many years, were clearly having a great time. Rojak, who also plays with the American Brass Quintet , was repeatedly kidded about his age. "The American Brass Quintet is really considered one of the premier brass ensembles in the world. It's a privilege for us to play with such an elder statesman," Herrington said.

"We're part of a pool of musicians working in the New York area who all know each other, like each other, and really respond musically to one another," Grabois said. He said the acoustics in the library were great for their concert.

He said although they like being part of the Stamford Symphony, they also like playing smaller chamber sets like this one. "When you're part of a big orchestra, you're part of a massive sound. But it's a small part," Grabois said. "In a smaller group like this, you're all in charge of what happens."

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