Members of Classy Brass hail from across Canada. Some of our stories in a nutshell...
Rae St. Clair Bridgman is a founding member of Classy Brass and has been playing tuba since she was 13, when she fell in love with those low brassy notes. She studied with Kent Mason in Toronto, Chuck Daellenbach and the Canadian Brass in Toronto and at the Banff Centre many moons ago, and has studied more recently with Marty Erickson. She was also a founding member of the York Brass Quintet, and went on to get her Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto. Many lives later...she’s now an anthropologist, urban planner, artist, children’s author and illustrator, and a professor in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. “Without music...life would B♭.”
Elizabeth Frenette has been playing horn since her first band teacher asked her to "try it for the summer" when she was 12 – at the end of a dismal year of playing trumpet – and she has never looked back. She earned her Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University, and then on a whim moved to Winnipeg. Elizabeth now works for the federal government in the field of information management. She plays horn in several Winnipeg community bands, conducts the Manitoba Millennium Band, has been known to hammer away at the piano while caterwauling, and is working on a first novel. She has recently become passionate about tea after tasting her first perfectly made cup. "And, from her wild, sequester'd seat, in notes by distance made more sweet, pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul." – The Passions, an Ode for Music, William Collins
Meera Thadani is a pharmacist and music lover. Her musical training began by accident at the ripe old age of 52, when she decided to try out band instruments at an open house hosted by Winnipeg’s New Horizons Band. The trombone chose Meera - it was the only instrument to produce humorous sounds for her. She realized at that moment she had found her second calling. Shortly after, she began lessons with Melissa Schwartz, who has guided her through the mysterious seven slide positions on the trombone. “Never look encouragingly at the brass, except with a short glance to give an important cue." – Richard Strauss