Mountain Light Music bringing in the brass


By Sally Neel
Mountain Light Music Festival

The fifth annual Mountain Light Music Festival will be bringing in the brass for its grand finale concert at Keyah Grande on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. Top brass players from around the country will be joining with college student players for a night of Trombones at the Movies.

The festival is a yearly event at Mountain Light Lodge on Cade Mountain. Student brass players who have been selected for this opportunity will spend the week studying under highly skilled mentors, seeking to improve their technique, tone and the interpretation of their music. The week will conclude with a fun concert of exciting movie music, including a stunning virtuosic rendering from “Superman,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Ben Hur,” “Green Hornet” and “JFK.”

This year’s festival is concentrating on the trombone. It is rare to hear a large trombone choir, since most orchestras only require three or four players, depending on the music. This year’s festival concert will feature a trombone choir of 17 players. 

This unique ensemble will be led by a team of top-of-the-line trombonists whose credentials include playing with major orchestras, teaching in large universities, featured guest soloists and members of professional brass ensembles. 

The founder of the Mountain Light Music Festival is Brent Phillips. Phillips is professor of trombone at Baylor University. Prior to his position at Baylor, Phillips was assistant principal trombone of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., and is currently principal trombone of the Abilene Philharmonic and the Waco Symphony Orchestra in Waco, Texas. He was the principal trombone of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra for 15 seasons while concurrently performing in the Marine Band. Phillips has soloed with the “President’s Own” on 30 separate occasions and has been a featured soloist with the Harrisburg Symphony on five occasions. He continues to travel nationally and internationally as a featured soloist with orchestras.

The concert will be performed outside. However, the Mountain Light Music Festival wants to take every precaution to keep our patrons and musicians safe. Masks are optional for those who have been vaccinated. If you have chosen not to be vaccinated, masks are required. 

Tickets are $35 and are available at Airport Storage, Lantern Dancer and Choke Cherry Tree. You can also purchase tickets online at Wine and beer will be available for purchase at the event. Buses will be available to transport patrons from the parking lot to the concert venue.