Mill Ave Chamber Players

The Mill Ave Chamber Players is a professional woodwind quintet based in Phoenix, Arizona that holds over 50 concerts annually.

John Steinmetz's Next Woodwind Quintet - An Invitation

Dear Friends,


We are commissioning a new quintet John Steinmetz to be composed by March 2018. We’re thrilled to spearhead this project because John’s first quintet has become a beloved work in the woodwind quintet canon!

The quintet will be for the standard woodwind quintet instrumentation with the possibility of auxiliary instruments: piccolo and English horn. Clarinet may double on Bb and A clarinets.

The work will be 10 minutes in length and premiered in Phoenix, Arizona in April 2018 and then performed at the International Horn Symposium in Muncie, Indiana in July 2018. After the premiere, John will make any revisions before sending the music out to all co-commissioners.

John wrote about this project: At this point I don't know what the music will be like, but it will probably reflect my interest in speaking musically to abiding human concerns. On my mind at the moment is the inspiring voyage of Hōkūleʻa, the Polynesian voyaging canoe that recently completed a three-year trip around the world using ancient navigation methods. In many places indigenous people are reviving knowledge and traditions that nurtured our species for tens of thousands of years. Perhaps the new quintet might somehow honor the Original Instructions, so similar across cultures, the guidelines for living in a good way, for interacting honorably and sustainably with other humans and other species. 

"I often am surprised how pieces develop (I remember comic music invading a piece that was otherwise quite serious), and I'm not at all sure where this one will go, but these days I am more and more determined to explore how music can help with the big problems we humans face. No matter what, I promise to do my best to find satisfying sounds that can create a meaningful journey for players and listeners.


 The fee to join this project is $250 per quintet/ensemble/commissioner. All co-commissioners will be listed in the music and receive a special “Commissioners’ Edition” of the parts/score from Trevco and will have exclusive rights to perform the piece for one year (starting in June 2018) before the piece becomes available to anyone else.  The Mill Ave Chamber Players will make a copy of their premiere performance available to all commissioners as a reference guide. John will be joining us before the premiere and attend the premiere performance.

We’d be very grateful to have you participate! If you have any questions or comments, please email Rose French at You can participate buy sending a check to the Mill Ave Chamber Players at 526 W. Cypress Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 OR buy credit card on our website ( Just click on “Tickets” and you’ll see a link to join buy credit card.

Even if you can’t participate in the commission, you can help us greatly by spreading the word via email and social media. John and the quintet plan on documenting the commission process throughout the next seven months to keep everyone a part of the conversation!

To learn more about John Steinmetz, please check out his website: and hear John interviewed by Phoenix’s KBAQ Classical Radio station with Rose French ( ). “What the Birds Said” the Music of John Steinmetz by was recorded by the Mill Ave Chamber Players and the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet in 2016.

We look forward to having you join us!

The Mill Ave Chamber Players,

Monica, Nik, Katie, Tom and Rose


Quotes for Thomas Breadon's "Impressions for Wind Quintet"


This week's concerts lead us to the premiere of Thomas Breadon's "Impressions for Wind Quintet." With five short movements, the piece contains nostalgia and a nocturne, but also a reflection of the current political climate and a reaction to the divisive nature that has taken shape before the most recent election.

Composed as a musical cryptogram, Tom assigned a pitch to each letter used. Included with each cryptogram are instructions for each musician on when to perform, but lacks any rhythmic direction, leading to each performance being unique.

The following are the quotes for the second movement of the quintet and the instrument representing each quote.

"We need to get the best and the finest. And if we don’t, we’ll be in trouble for a long period of time, and maybe never come out of it."

"In America, we don’t worship government, we worship God."
President of the United States, Donald J. Trump

Senator Whitehouse: "Does a secular attorney have a, anything to fear from Attorney General Sessions in the Department of Justice?"

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: "Well, no... a little concern I have that we as a nation, I believe, are, are reaching a level in which truth is not sufficiently respected, that the very ideal, the idea of truth is, uh, not believed to be real and that all of life is just a matter of your perspective and my, sp...perspective, which I think is contrary to the American Heritage... I think we should respect people’s uh, views and, and, and, not, n, demand any kind of religious test for, a, holding office."
Whitehouse: "And a secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious, correct?"                                                                                             

Sessions: "Well, I’m not sure..."

"Our desire is to be in that shephelah, to, um, confront the culture in which we all live today in ways which will continue to help, um, advance god’s kingdom..."I think it goes back to the concept of really being active in the shephelah of our culture. To impact our culture in ways that are not the traditional, uh, funding the christian organization route, but that really may have greater kingdom gains in the long run, um, by changing the way we approach things, in the case, um, the system of education in the country."
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos

"Under ENDA, employees around the country who possess religious beliefs that, that, uh, are opposed to homosexual behavior would be forced, in effect, to lay down their rights and convictions at the door. For example, if an employee keeps a bible at his or her cubicle, if an employee displays a bible verse on their desk, that employee could be claimed by a homosexual colleague to be creating a hostile work environment because the homosexual employee objects to passages in the bible relating to homosexuality."

Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence

"Are there racist people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely. Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe. Are there some people that are antisemitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobic, right? But that’s just like there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements."

Former Chief Strategist of Trump Administration Steve Bannon

Join us for performances of this work and our second series of "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" Wednesday at 9:30 AM, Friday at Phoenix College at 7 PM and Sunday, November 5 at 3 PM at Central United Methodist Church. Tickets available here.