Founded in 1964, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet is one of America’s longest standing brass quintets. The group was originally formed by members of the St. Louis Symphony to play children’s concerts around the St. Louis area. Soon though, they had expanded to present full length concerts funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Now, forty years and more than 2,500 engagements later, the only original member still in the group — and the only one who actually lives in St. Louis — is trombonist Melvyn Jernigan. The other quintet members hold top positions across the United States, and none of them are members of the St. Louis Symphony.
The group now performs three ten day concert tours throughout the United States each year, plus recording and international touring. The SLBQ was featured at the Norway Brass Band Festival in 1994, at a festival in Bombay, India in 1995, and they performed a two-week concert tour in Japan in 1997. In May of 1999 the quintet toured Mexico, and in October of 2001 they toured Germany. June 2003, they were performing in Sweden.
It was out of the Saint Louis Brass Quintet that Summit Brass got its start. In 1985, led by trumpeter David Hickman, who was at that time a member of the quintet, personnel were chosen for this new group. Since its first concerts in 1986, Summit Brass has hosted an annual institute for brass players, performed dozens of concert tours in the United States and Europe, and has recorded ten CDs.