About the Celebration Brass Quintet
The Celebration Brass Quintet was founded in 2001 by members of the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra and began its career as artists-in-residence at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins. Drawing from a library of more than 400 arrangements, the quintet has developed a wide repertoire in a variety of musical genres, including jazz, Dixieland, ragtime, classical, show tunes, and "golden oldies." The Celebration Brass has played at numerous venues across the Twin Cities area, including Music Association of Minnetonka concerts, weddings, churches, arts centers, retail stores and senior residences.
Betty Mackay, trumpet
Betty pursued her music studies at Augsburg College. She is a member of Brava! Brass Quintet and has played for over 30 years with the Da Capo Brass Quintet, whose performances include the Prairie Home Companion and Minnesota Public Radio's Live From Landmark concert series, and numerous recitals at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Betty is also a member of the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra and also has performed with the Dakota Valley Symphony, the Dakota Valley Summer Pops Orchestra, the Kenwood Orchestra, Allegro Symphonia, and the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra. Betty performs regularly with theater groups across the Twin Cities area, including the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, the Lakeshore Players, the Moundsview Community Theater, the Cross Community Players, the Maquers Theater and the Morris Park Players.
Bob Mecum, tuba
Bob pursued performance music studies at Pepperdine University, Malibu CA, California State University at Los Angeles, and at California State University at Fullerton. He is currently a freelance Tubist and has played with Minneapolis area groups, such as the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra, the John Philip Sousa Memorial Band, and Southern California groups, such as Hour of Power Television Orchestra and Glory of Christmas/Easter Pageants-Schuller Ministries. Bob plays his 1977 Mirafone 186-5U tuba in performance.
Kevin Duggins, trombone
Kevin graduated from Indiana University with a Master of Music degree in trombone performance. He is a member of several local groups, including the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra, the Minnetonka Concert Band, and Toreadors 4. He has played with other groups in the Twin Cities including the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, The Cities Orchestra, Universal Jazz, Brio Brass, Cross Chamber Players, Lyric Arts of Anoka, Off Broadway Musical Theater of New Hope, Mounds View Community Theater, and the Calhoun-Isles Community Band. Kevin has also performed with many groups outside of Minnesota, including the South Dakota Symphony, the Sioux City (Iowa) Symphony, Columbus (Indiana) Pro Musica, Cumberland County (Tennessee) Playhouse and The Carpenters.
Mike Hillman, trumpet
Mike began his career in 1965 with the United States Air Force Concert Band, Wright-Patterson AFB. In 1982 he moved to the Twin Cities and met his wife Lola. While in the Twin Cities he studied trumpet with Manny Laureano, Principal trumpet with Minnesota Orchestra and played with the Wolverines, Classic Jazz Orchestra, Mill City Brass, Stan Bann Big Band, DMP Jazz Quartet, Bloomington Symphony, Dakota Valley Symphony and Lynhurst Baroque Ensemble. Mike was the music director at Roosevelt HS in Minneapolis until his retirement in 2010.
Jim Kodner, horn
Jim attended Indiana University where he studied with Robert Elworthy, Michael Hatfield, and Philip Farkas. He began working as a freelance musician in the early 1980's, performing in the Twin Cities. He has played many Broadway shows and musicals including 42nd Street, Camelot (with Richard Harris), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (with Donny Osmond) and performed at both the Guthrie Theater and the Children's Theatre Company. He performed with the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre and was in the orchestras backing up Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, the Moody Blues, Andy Williams, Julie Andrews, and Henry Mancini. He recently played with the Rochester MN Symphony and currently plays with the Bloomington Symphony and the Church of St Agnes (Twin Cities Catholic Chorale).