Trumpeter Christopher Swainhart founded the Queen City Brass and built the quintet’s success upon the innovative and versatile arrangements he has written in many styles. Popular in the Midwest, the quintet has performed as far east as Rappahannock, Virginia, as far north Duluth Minnesota and as far west as Gifu, Japan.
The nationally renowned group has been featured several times Garrison Keillor’s program, A Prairie Home Companion, broadcast live on Public Radio from St. Paul, Minnesota. They have also appeared on Charles Kuralt’s television series The History of Cincinnati, and were featured by the Cincinnati Historical Society on a concert celebrating the Cincinnati Sesquicentennial.
Listen to the QCB and Garrison Keillor performing Swainhart’s arrangement of the Powder Milk Biscuit Theme:
You can learn more about the Queen City Brass at their web site QueenCityBrass.com
As life goes by you start to recognize things that are of real importance. If a thing cannot be replaced or repeated, it has more importance. If you don’t make the best of each day, and as a musician, each performance, you are missing out. As Sister Marshall put it, “To miss the joy is to miss it all.” In memoriam to my good friend Michael Thornton who founded the Queen City Brass with me. I remember fondly our many performances. I miss you good friend.
Mike Thornton has been Tubist with the Cincinnati Symphony since 1976. In 1982 and again in 1988 he performed the Vaughan Williams Concerto for Tuba with the CSO on tour. In 1982 he recorded a solo tuba album which included the world premiere of The Seasons by Frank Proto. In 1992 Mr. Thornton premiered yet another tuba concerto by Frank Proto with the CSO under the direction of Maestro Jesus Lopez Cobos. While at Yale Mr. Thornton was the assistant conductor of the Yale Wind Ensemble and conducted works by Charles Ives in Finland the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has taught tuba ant the University of Kentucky, Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University and the College of William and Mary and is currently on the faculty of Miami University. He has performed tuba recitals all across the US. For the summer of 1998 he has been invited to perform ant the Flathead Music Festival in Montana and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.