Meet Class Notes Artist: Copper Street Brass

Copper Street Brass (from left): Nick Adragna, tuba; Josh Cameron, Allison Hall, trumpets; Alex Wolff, trombone; Tim Bradley, French horn.Rita Farmer

Copper Street Danse Boheme


March 01, 2018
Copper Street Toreador Song
by MPR
Copper Street Les Dragons dAlcala
by MPR

Class Notes Artist Copper Street Brass toured 10 schools in the Grand Rapids and Brainerd area over a week bringing its fun "Tool of the Trade" program to 3,500 students.


  • Georges Bizet: Selections from Carmen, Les Dragons d'Alcala

  1. Georges Bizet: Selections from Carmen, Danse Boheme

  1. Georges Bizet: Selections from Carmen, Toreador Song

Copper Street Brass did a weeklong tour of schools in the Grand Rapids and Brainerd area. At Cohasset Elementary, the members performed for the entire school over two performances in the library. Cohasset is just outside of Grand Rapids.

Copper Street Brass' program was titled "Tools of the Trade." The performers dressed in construction gear (complete with hot pink helmets that match the Copper Street logo) and used the metaphor of building a house to explain how music is made. Trumpet player, Allison Hall explained how their instruments are like "tools" and rhythm, melody, and harmony are the building materials.

Copper Street did a delightful rendition of "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid. Tim Bradley swapped his horn for maracas to add percussion. Bradley arranges all the music for Copper Street Brass.

Tim Bradley describes how tricky it would be to carry a French horn home on your bike if it weren't rolled up. If unwound, a French horn would be 17 feet long!

Josh Cameron demonstrates the high notes that the trumpet can play using "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Alex Wolff plays the trombone, the only instrument with a slide instead of valves (buttons). The trombone can play low notes, but not the lowest notes.

After Alex Wolff demonstrated the low notes he could play on his trombone, tuba player Nick Adragna said, "Those are some nice low notes. Hi, everyone — if you like low notes, then you should check these out." He then proceeded to blow the trombone's low notes out of the water (as it were).

Kids practiced following their Copper Street Brass leader before they start learning a rhythm.

Allison Hall and Josh Cameron traded their trumpets for boomwhackers (pitched plastic tubes) to be the rhythm section for Copper Street's interpretation of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You."

Kids participate in making the rhythm for "Shape of You." They're playing a "rest" when they put their hands up.

L-R: Tim Bradley, horn; Alex Wolff, trombone; Josh Cameron, trumpet, playing "How Far I'll Go" from Moana.

Kids sing along enthusiastically to "How Far I'll Go," the last song of the program. Copper Street Brass always likes to end with a showstopper that most or all of the students will be able to sing along with.