Brass Kamarades Quintette de Cuivres

meet the musicians

Claude Archambault | Denis Bellemare | Denis Desnoyers | Denys Lussier | José St-Onge

You can also meet the former members of Brass Kamarades by cvisiting our Founding Members page.

Claude Archambault - Trombone

Claude Archambault

Claude is a workaholic. Although he never actualy studied on his instrument, no one would be able to tell because his 20 years of experience in concert bands at the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and stage bands with the Orchestre Mélodium make up for it.

He came into Brass Kamarades from the beginning armed with nothing else than his strong will to succeed and his work ethics which are by far the best in the brass quintet. He rose to the challenge with determination and came up on top. He has a natural ability to put his finger on the problem during the rehearseals and he's always dead on target. And on top of it all, he does his homeworks.

He got a special connection with Denis Bellemare from the start and these two can make a rehearsal very interresting...in a demented kind of way!!!

 

 

Denis Bellemare - french horn

Denis Bellemare

Denis started out as a piano student in his hometown of St-Paul-de-Joliette. But he wised up during his college years et the renowned private Collège de Joliette where he started the french horn just to have more fun with his friends who were all playing in the orchestra.

Attending that school, he was a member of the Quintette de Joliette and the Trio de Cuivres de Lanaudière. He was a natural and made the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal his home for a few years where he studied under Joseph Masella. Ever since he left that school, he never looked back, playing in various orchestras such as Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Joliette and the Orchestre du Conservatoire de Trois-Rivières, under conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Montreal International Music Camp and the Camp Musical de Lanaudière.

His rich and full sound along with his good range and power earned him a place of choice into the french horn ensemble Omnitonique under the direction of Paul Marcotte who plays second horn at the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. Denis was the instigator of Brass Kamarades along with André Lessard on the trumpet.

Denis Desnoyers - Tuba

Denis Desnoyers

The other Denis comes from a family of 9 musicians and singers so he was always surrounded by music. At 7 years old, he took piano lessons and again at age 12, he gave it another try with Réjean Poirier who is now dean and professor of the Faculté de Musique de l'Université de Montreal.

He started trumpet lessons at age 13 with Émile Rouiller, switched to alto horn the next year and made up his mind at age 15 when he started the trombone at the École Secondaire Beaulieu under Mr Gilles Roy. He also started euphonium the next school year and was a finalist at the soloist contest of the Festival des Harmonies du Québec in 1974 after playing the instrument for only 6 months.

In September 1974, he was accepted at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal into a special program for promissing young talents. He studied trombone without however completing his studies under Joseph Zuskin who was playing trombone at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Denis played trombone and euphonium for 30 years in numerous ensembles like the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean ,the Union musicale d'Iberville, the Union musicale de Marieville,the Harmonie Lachine, the Lakeshore Concert Band, the Harmonie de Kirkland, the Harmonie Laval and the Harmonie Mont-Bruno to university bands (UQAM,UM), stage bands (Mélodium, UM stage band clinic), jazz and dixieland combos.

His tuba background is new. He started in 1999 at the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean to fill an empty chair whenever the electric bass player was absent and joined Brass Kamarades from the beginning. His best assets in music are the great intonations he can get from any of the three instruments he plays, his musical memory and his sense of musicality. Since 2018, Denis is also plays tuba at the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra under Stewart Grant.

Denis is also occasionnaly a low brass specialist clinician (trombone, euphonium and tuba) for the local High Schools as well as for the music clinics  of the Eastern Region Cadet Music Program.

Denys Lussier - Trumpet

Denys Lussier

Although he did not study in music, Denys has a vast musical experience. Circumstances led him to start trumpet playing at the age of 14 under the direction of Léo Létourneau at the Polyvalente Chanoine-Armand-Racicot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. In his second year of learning this instrument, he was invited to join the ranks of the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean where he could count on the teachings of Émile Rouiller.

Subsequently, Denys joined the Union Musicale d'Iberville then conducted by René Bernard, bassoonist with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM), and then by Alain Cazes, tubist also at the OSM and Orchestre Métropolitain. During these years, he was able to count on the support, experience and teaching of Mario Charbonneau, trumpeter emeritus of the region and recipient of several interpretation awards.

Although he would have liked to study music, life led Denys to Montreal to study computer science, mathematics and engineering. This did not prevent him from playing as a regular musician or as a freelancer in many types of ensembles such as: symphony orchestra, big band, brass quintet, small classical ensembles, Bavarian and even Gypsy music. He also sang for many years in the Voxapella choir, a local choir with a gospel flavor.

Denys has played under the direction of many maestro over the years. including Monique Martin, woman of heart, pianist emeritus and conductor of great talent. She had a maxim that said: "An amateur musician is not required to be amateurish! " Denys fully adheres to this maxim and it meets his values, both personal and professional.

Today, Denys has the chance to play under the baton of the talented conductor Jonathan Dagenais who was a pupil of Monique Martin during his studies at the university. Apart from Brass Kamarades, Denys focuses mainly on wind orchestras such as the OVNI (2007), the OJV (2016) and the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Following with interest the activities of Brass Kamarades, Denys did not hesitate a second to join the group following the departure of his friend Michel Hébert. The desire to reconnect with this type of ensemble with quality musicians strongly encouraged him to accept with unequaled pleasure. It goes without saying that this other Denys with a non-Orthodox spelling brings a fun and friendly dimension to all the group rehearsals while occasionally brewing (brassant in French) somewhat questionable puns when he's not bringing BRASSicoles (meaning brewing in French) containers! ( a French pun that does not translate well). You have here a fine example of one of his puns.

JosÉ ST-ONGE - Trompette

José St-OngeSolo trumpet of the Harmonie Calixa-Lavallée de Sorel since 1985, originally from St-Joseph-de-Sorel, José St-Onge is a music teacher at École secondaire Jean-Jacques-Bertrand in Farnham since 1992. Holder of a bachelor's degree in music education from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and a trumpet graduate from the Conservatoire de musique de Trois-Rivières, Mr. St-Onge has been a member of various musical groups including the Orchestre Symphonique deTrois-Rivières, Maîtrise du Cap-de-la-Madeleine, the Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Montréal, the Grand Orchestre des Jeunes de Québec, the 62nd Canadian Armed Forces Regiment and the Petits Chanteurs de Trois-Rivières. It was with this ensemble that he participated in a European tour in 1990, as a trumpet player.

Very attached to his Sorelian roots, Mr. St-Onge was a member of the Stage Bands led by Stéphane Laforest and Simon Cardin. After a wind orchestra conductor training at the Université de Montreal, in 2001 he became assistant conductor of the Harmonie Calixa-Lavallée, a position he still holds, after having conducted the Harmonie Relève from 2001 to 2003.

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