Review of M5 Mexican Brass
By David Connaughton
The fifth Outer Banks Forum performance this season, M5 Mexican Brass, featuring five excellent brass instrumentalists, was absolutely delightful, ending with a standing ovation and an auditorium full of happy people. Their intelligent humor and musical selections were spot on for this audience, and their virtuosity is awe inspiring.
The music featured well-known classics from Vivaldi, Bach, Rossini and Humperdinck, and crowd favorites such as Maria from West Side Story and the Beatles classic Michelle. Their version of the St. James Infirmary Blues would have been right at home on Bourbon Street. The dramatic lighting and choreography of the group underscored the mood of each piece in this lively show.
M5 was founded by Alexander Freund and Oscar Villegas Miranda, trumpets, and includes Juan Carlos Quiterio Miguel, playing a very smooth french horn, Jose Lopez Juarez on the tuba, and Roberto Carlos Cruz playing trombone. All have performed with major symphony orchestras as first chair for their instrument.
In their eleven years together M5 has performed more than 1,000 concerts in North and South America, Asia and Africa, including educational programs for schools as well as events at grand venues such as at the Washington Kennedy Center.
Prior to the show and during the intermission the audience was treated to a first-rate lobby concert by youth musicians Jillian and William Pendleton, Emily Yurasek, CJ and Lilly East and their father Chris East along with music teachers Neil Long and Roy Murray, directed by Roy Murray. The Easts study piano with Neil and trumpet with Roy.