The Ars Nova Brass Quintet was formed in 1980 when two of the original members, Dean Shea and Ehrich Koch, were attending St. John’s University. Ars Nova means “new art” or “new technique,” and is a phrase first used in 1322 to distinguish the new music of the Late Middle Ages (1310–1377). Ars Nova contrasted with the music of the immediately preceding age, known as Ars Anitiqua. Ars Antiqua was monophonic, with simple rhythms and accompaniment; Ars Nova introduced independence of rhythm and harmony to each musical line, leading to the development of greater musical expressiveness and variety, an evolution analogous to the revolutionary introduction of perspective in painting.
The Ars Nova Brass Quintet engages and entertains its audience by presenting an innovative perspective: Brass instruments are not just for marches and fanfares. The Quintet performs music of variety and expression from all time periods, styles and moods. Their repertoire includes music of the Renaissance, Classical and Romantic periods, both religious and secular, as well as gospel, jazz and ragtime.
Photo: Jack Young Photography, Hudson, Wisconsin