Nerdy Music in the Great Outdoors - Wenham Street Brass Trio

My need for exercise leads to a delightfully nerdy musical encounter!

By , Columnist

photo: Miss Music Nerd

Miss Music Nerd has been trying to incorporate more exercise into her life of late. Between sitting at the piano to practice and sitting at the computer to rule my media universe, I can be awfully sedentary if I'm not careful. And while my BMI is, miraculously, still within the normal range, I'm pushing the upper limit. If I don't start moving my booty more, I'll have to Ask Calorie Ken to take away my cookies - which will not be pretty, believe me!

Lucky for me, I happen to live near one of the most beautiful places on earth: the Arnold Arboretum. The other day I was taking a brisk walk through this lovely space, when I heard the sound of brass instruments wafting through the trees. Someone must be taking advantage of the perfect weather and practicing outside, I thought - with some envy, since that's something that's pretty tricky for us pianists to do.

I decided to peek through the trees and find out just what was going on, and maybe give the thumbs up to whoever was sending their music out into the universe. A narrow dirt path led me to three young brass players dressed in dark suits, standing on a charming little bridge over a brook. They started to move out of my way, thinking I was just passing through, but I stopped to get their story.

They were the Wenham Street Brass Trio, and they had chosen this pretty little spot for a photo shoot, which explained why they were so overdressed for a day in the park. The three players and their photographer kindly let me interrupt their work for a chat, and they even played a short piece for me. I had my handy iPhone at the ready, so I recorded them, and in the video below you can hear their arrangement of "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" by Freddie Mercury (yes, that Freddie Mercury!).

The three members of the trio, hornist Justin Stanley, trombonist Heidi Aispuro and trumpeter Matthew Baker, are current or former students of the New England Conservatory of Music, and they are involved in several music education projects for young people in the Boston area. They also have a performance tonight, so Boston area readers, check them out - and tell them Miss Music Nerd sent you!

The moral of the story? Music nerd awesomeness is everywhere, and is likely to pop up even when I'm not expecting it... Oh, and going for a walk is always a good idea!

P.S. Here's Queen's original version of the Mercury opus covered above!

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Miss Music Nerd is the nom de net of Linda Kernohan, composer, pianist and music journalist. Her music has been played across the U.S. and Europe, and she has performed in a wide variety of venues, from a West Hollywood nightclub to the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. She also writes at…

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