Monday, January 23, 2017


     Hi Everyone, and welcome to my new blog; Brass Ensembles and Everything Related (B.E.E.R). This blog's genesis is from the Advanced Brass Ensemble Literature class taught by Professor Manning at the University of Iowa. (I also need to credit the title of my blog to Professor Manning, clearly a gifted individual). I will be talking about all things brass ensemble related and throw out a solid beer recommendation at the end of each blog.

     So, I thought I would kick off my very first blog post ever introducing myself. My name is Caleb Lambert and among other things I am a trombonist and beer enthusiast currently enrolled in the D.M.A program at the University of Iowa, and a member of the trombone section in Orchestra Iowa. BUT.....  before living this sweet Iowa city lifestyle my first steady gig was playing trombone, euphonium and bass trumpet with the Axiom Brass Quintet in Chicago, Il from 2012-2014.

     Playing in Axiom exposed me to a lot of different types of playing and traveling opportunities that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Highlights of my tenure include winning the Passau International Brass Competition in Germany (first American ensemble to do so), spending a week in the Dominican Republic, touring the western united states culminating with a week residency in the Grand Tetons in Jackson hole, WY, spending a month in the Berkshires at the Tanglewood Festival, and many more.

     For me, one of the greatest joys playing in Axiom brought into my life was the direct connection I felt I was making with the audience. When you play in a brass quintet you are 1/5 the ensemble. You play every movement of every piece. Especially, speaking as trombone player here, unless you are playing the tuba solo in Pictures at an Exhibition, or the trombone solo from Mahler's third symphony it is pretty common to go unnoticed in an orchestra concert. Is this an ego thing? Most definitely. But isn't that why we all got into music in the first place? To connect with people, to share our talents, and express ourselves? I should mention now that I love my job with Orchestra Iowa. It is deeply rewarding work on many levels, and my colleagues are truly wonderful. But I loved it when people came up to me and talked about the solo I had in the second movement of Malcolm Arnold's quintet, or asked me what the hell a bass trumpet is, or commented on how surprised they were when I started playing sixteenth notes. It's a different world from my orchestra life.

     On that note, I will leave you with this video that was recorded in the Dominican Republic in 2012.  The piece we are playing is one every child in the Dominican Republic knows by heart, so they are singing with us. Also super funny at the end when the girl covers her ears as the trumpets fanfare it up... because trumpets...gross.

     As promised my beer pick for this post is.....................................................................

      PRESIDENTE! They love this stuff in the Dominican Republic. They served them ice cold and with a napkin around the bottle so your hands didn't warm the beer.You can find it stateside, but something tells me it won't be as good as actually drinking one when you are sweating your ass off on the beach in the DR. Cheers!

     Thanks for checking out my first post. I am feeling oddly nervous/excited for everyone to read my writing (sorry about the typos, I swear I proofread this post 1,000,000 times.)  Also please comment with either brass ensembles I should be checking out and what beers are catching your fancy. My next post will be on my good friends and former fellow Chicago brass quintet; Gaudete Brass Quintet.


  1. This is probably the best blog idea ever imagined! Looking forward to reading more throughout the year! One of my favorite beers from Europe I had when I toured there was Pilsner Urquell. Had plenty of it in Czech Republic!

  2. I really love the blog's name! Brass, Beer, and Beyond could also be fun. You should definitely try Thai beers!