SHIPPENSBURG, PA (November 29, 2010)- The H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University presents world-renowned musicians, the EMPIRE BRASS in "The Sound of Christmas" starring Elisabeth von Trapp, Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 7 p.m.  Reserved tickets are $37, $34, $28 & $22 and can be purchased by calling the Luhrs Center Box Office at 717.477.SHOW (7469) or online at

Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired The Sound of Music, joins the critically acclaimed Empire Brass in this holiday presentation full of enchantment, with music from around the world.  Song selections will include traditional holiday favorites, and the audience will be invited to sing along with certain selections.

About the Empire Brass:

The Empire Brass enjoys an international reputation as North America's finest brass ensemble, renowned for its brilliant virtuosity and the unparalleled diversity of its repertoire.  The five musicians - all of whom have held leading positions with major American orchestras - perform more than 100 concerts a year

in cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, London, Zurich and Tokyo.  The Empire Brass is comprised of trumpeter and founding member, Rolf Smedvig; trumpeter Marc Reese, French horn player Gregory Miller, trombonist Mark Hetzler, and tuba player Kenneth Amis.  With their best-selling recordings on the Telarc label, they have introduced an even larger worldwide audience to the excitement of brass music ranging from J.S. Bach and Georg Frideric Handel to Jazz and Broadway. 

While many brass quintets focus on either mainstream, crowd-pleasing repertoire or a more "serious," scholarly approach, the Empire Brass has found a steady middle-ground in its various activities.  They are equally at home in the majestically antiphonal works that Gabrieli composed for St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice and the exuberantly show-stopping tunes that Richard Rodgers and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote for Broadway. 

In addition to playing across the USA, the Empire Brass has toured the Far East 16 times, and performs regularly in Europe.  It has played to standing-room crowds in the former Soviet Union, where their concert was broadcast on television.  The ensemble has performed with major symphony orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and many more.

A persuasive advocate for the art form, the Empire was the first brass ensemble to win the prestigious Naumberg chamber music award.  It has served as Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at Boston University for 13 years, and has led the Empire Brass Seminar at the Tanglewood Institute for over 20 years, where students from around the world come to study with the quintet.  Since 1991, the quintet has also been acting as visiting brass consultants at London's Royal Academy of Music.

About Elisabeth von Trapp:

For Elisabeth von Trapp, "the sounds of music" are part of her earliest memories.  Born and raised in Vermont, Elisabeth is the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired The Sound of Music.  Singing professionally since childhood, Elisabeth has enthralled audiences from European cathedrals to Washington D.C's Kennedy Center.

Inspired by her father Werner von Trapp's guitar playing and singing, Elisabeth has carried on the legacy of the internationally renowned Trapp Family Singers.  She began taking piano lessons when she was eight and by the age of sixteen she was playing guitar and traveling the back roads of New England performing with her siblings at weddings, gospel meetings and town halls.

Building on her famed family's passion for music, Elisabeth has created her own artistic style, at once ethereal and earthy, delicate and powerful.  Listeners have likened her to Judy Collins and Loreena McKennitt.  Critics have called her voice..."hauntingly clear," "joyfully expressive," and "simply beautiful."

Elisabeth's concert repertoire ranges from Bach to Broadway... Schubert to Sting.  With equal ease and eloquence she sings timeless wonders like Rodgers and Hammerstein's Favorite Things and Edelweiss, Lieder by Mozart, Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro, soaring gospel tunes, pop classics and her own stunning compositions. 

For performance tickets and information, call the Luhrs Center Box Office at 717.477.SHOW (7469) or visit the Luhrs Center website at  A group discount is available for groups of 20 or more.

About the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University

The mission of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University is to support and enhance the University's role in academic and cultural enrichment for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Luhrs Center's 1,500-seat state-of-the-art Grove Theatre is where programs to educate, enlighten and entertain are presented. Benefits of the Center to the region include expanding opportunities to participate in a wide range of cultural programming including full-scale Broadway companies, musical groups, symphonies, dance troupes and internationally known speakers. In addition, it adds options for professional training programs, youth programs and senior citizen programs; attracts regional and national business conferences, professional meetings and planning sessions; and additional visitors to the area which will result in a positive impact on the local and regional economy.