In more than four decades of performing and teaching at Centre College and the University of Kentucky, Vince DiMartino has become Mr. Trumpet of the Bluegrass.
In 2012, DiMartino retired from his post at Centre, but this has been one of those busy retirements. Now, it includes directing the Lexington Brass Band, a group he has been involved with since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The group brings its 23rd season to a close Sunday with an all-American music concert at Centenary United Methodist Church.
With that and a new CD out, we decided to ask DiMartino a few questions.
Q: How are you enjoying retirement?
A: I love it – only a self-imposed schedule. Lots of visits to colleges and universities, mostly of friends and former students.
Q: Do you really feel retired?
A: Yes, because I am controlling my activities. Lots of practice, studying pieces I never worked on and conducting my friends in the Lexington Brass Band.
Q: Tell us about the decision to take the baton of the Lexington Brass Band.
A: I had played in it when it started but got busy traveling, playing solos. When Ron Holz retired and moved away, LBB needed a director. Although not a great conductor, I felt I could use my skills to help a group that I always loved and soloed with.
Q: How does being music director compare to being a soloist or member of the band?
A: I hope I help them reach their musical goals. We play through things, and I help sort of organize their thoughts and help technically, as well.
Q: Tell us about Sunday’s concert, and what we can look forward to.
A: It is an all-American program. Everything from Morton Gould’s American Salute to America the Beautiful. Chuck Mangione, Duke Ellington and more. The group will feature world-famous trumpet star Rex Rochardson in a new work by Tony Plog. I am even playing one piece with Rex.
A fun concert for sure.
Q: Aside from the brass band, what have been your biggest projects since retiring from Centre?
A: I just finished a new CD called Made in Kentucky. It highlights the wonderful groups I have been privileged to perform with over the years. It will be available Sunday at the concert, along with LBB CDs and Rex’s CDs.
The Lexington Brass Band performs at 4 p.m. Sunday at Centenary Uniteed Methodist Church, 2800 Tates Creek Road. Tickets are $10 at the door, $5 for students. Visit Lexingtonbrassband.com to learn more.