The Touch of Brass quintet was first formed in 1976 by current member David Sabourin. During its first year, the original members studied at the Banff Center with members of the Canadian Brass, then began performing in the Vancouver area. In 1977, the quintet won first place in the Canadian Music Competition (the national Kiwanis festival) in Toronto . At this point the ensemble changed membership as some players stayed in Toronto to further their studies. In 1978, the quintet was hired by the Courtenay Youth Music Centre where the ensemble began to develop its repertoire and concert style by arranging and commissioning music unique to Touch of Brass.
From 1979 to 1988, Touch of Brass began touring throughout BC and Canada performing over 100 concerts a year, culminating in a world tour of Russia, England, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and India . This version of the quintet stayed together until 1989 at which time several members went on to other careers (that didn't involve travel!).
In 1996, Touch of Brass started performing again with David, Geoff Leader (French Horn), Tom Shorthouse (Trumpet), Jim Littleford (Trumpet) and Jeremy Berkman (Trombone). Ben Kinsman (French Horn) joined the quintet in 2007 and Nick Anderson (French Horn) came on board in 2016. The members of Touch of Brass perform with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony and are active as music educators for organizations such as Kwantlen College , University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Academy of Music.
The members of A Touch of Brass are:
Tom Shorthouse Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet, Piccolo Trumpet
Jim Littleford Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet, Piccolo Trumpet
Nick Anderson French Horn
Jeremy Berkman Trombone, Euphonium
David Sabourin Tuba