Bill Paulick may be one of the Juneau Brass Quintet’s longest-tenured members, but he’ll tell you he’s not the oldest while pointing at fellow member Jack Hodges. Although Hodges will then quickly sets the record straight by saying, “Only by three months.”
The longtime musicians performed with the quintet Saturday at the Alaska State Museum. Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum sponsored the season-ending performance by the Juneau Brass Quintet, of which Paulick and Hodges founded back in 1975. Within that time, as Paulick explained, he and Hodges have seen many members come and go, but one way or another Paulick and Hodges have always managed to stay active as a group, with only having taken a few years off since their inception. The current lineup, in addition to Paulick and Hodges, includes Stephen Young, Jared Lear and Alan Young.
Over the years, the Quintet has played everything from legislative receptions, weddings, funerals, holiday events along with countless public concerts. Their performance at the State Museum was their last show for the season and won’t be back as a quintet until the fall.
Paulick reflected on this past year performing as a quintet, and said in a word, it’s been “busy” getting back into the swing of things after the pandemic. Hodges said that for him personally, the year has been busy performing but also busy with practice as he chose to switch instruments after 60 years with the trombone.
“I switched to trumpet three years ago, so this last year has been a great challenge for me,” Hodges said. “It feels good to be getting up to a level to play with these great musicians. What’s neat is, we may be two old guys but then we have these three great young guys, if you cut our age in half we’re still six years older than these guys. So, they’ve got a lot of life ahead and we’re just honored to be able to play with them.”
The concert featured a wide range of works, from Renaissance to modern pieces, while also including jazz, tango, ballad and spiritual works , as well as popular songs such as “The Pink Panther” and “Danny Boy.”
Carol Race, membership board member with FoSLAM, said that in addition to providing a long-term funding source beyond what the annual state of Alaska budget can provide, the organization’s goal is to host free exhibit receptions, artist demonstrations, music performances, First Fridays and other special events.
“The friends are really excited to be using the atrium space to continue some music here and we’re happy to see so many people coming,” Race said. “Proceeds go to both the artists and the sponsor, Friends of the Library.”
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