History and Mission
The very popular and successful Holiday Brass Concerts have existed since 1992. They have served as fundraisers for the IWBC, and provided performance opportunities for women brass musicians, exposing to audiences the achievements of these performers in the music profession. The first Holiday Brass Concert was performed in St. Louis, Missouri. It was organized by Susan Slaughter, retired principal trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony. The purpose of the concert was to raise money for, and to also bring public attention to the first International Women’s Brass Conference, which was eventually held at Washington University in 1993.
In subsequent years, the money raised during these concerts has and continues to be used for scholarships for the Susan Slaughter Solo and Ginger Turner Chamber Music competitions, composer commissions, and to help with operational expenses for the IWBC and all the conferences that have occurred since 1993. These sacred and festive concerts are currently performed in St. Louis, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. Past concerts have occurred in Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California.
For many years, patrons requested a recording of the Holiday Brass Concerts. In response, Susan Slaughter produced the CD, Holiday Brass, in 2005 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. A second CD, Holiday Brass Encore, was made in 2011 at the Manchester United Methodist Church in St. Louis County. Both recordings include members of the brass section of the St. Louis Symphony, and additional professional brass players of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
“Christmas Cheer” was composed by trumpeter/composer, Anthony DiLorenzo for Susan Slaughter to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the St. Louis Holiday Brass Concerts. It was commissioned by the St. Louis Holiday Brass Musicians, Manchester United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, St. Louis Low Brass Collective, members of the St. Louis community, as well as many other musician friends and colleagues of Susan Slaughter. It was premiered at the St. Louis Holiday Brass Concerts in December of 2016.
Since 1992, a myriad of dedicated brass musicians (both women and men), and behind the scenes logistical volunteers have showed their support for the mission of the IWBC by organizing and participating in these concerts.