Ensemble Three is a performance project initiated by Don Immel and Joel Brennan, brass staff members at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Three involves two internationally-recognised brass musicians collaborating with a rotation of other artists to bring intriguing performances of new compositions to audiences in Victoria, Australia and abroad. The first incarnation of this project includes guitarist Ken Murray, a fellow staff member in Melbourne.
Our goals are three-fold: to commission original new works by composers in Australia and abroad; to engage new audiences; and to perform and record the commissioned works. The ensemble operates on three geographic levels: locally (the greater Melbourne area), nationally, and internationally.
Joel Brennan (trumpet) has performed as a soloist and orchestral musician throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Prior to starting his current position as Lecturer in Brass at Melbourne University, Joel taught at Brandon University (Canada) and served as principal trumpet of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra (Japan) and Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (the Netherlands). His interest in advancing the trumpet repertoire has lead to numerous projects including a Fulbright Grant (Netherlands, 2007) and the establishment of the Reveille Trumpet Collective. He holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Yale University (USA).
Don Immel (trombone), Head of Brass and Orchestral Studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium, is active internationally as a soloist, chamber, jazz and orchestral musician. Prior to joining the MCM, Don held posts as Solo/Principal Trombone with the Danish Philharmonic (Denmark), Honolulu Symphony Orchestras (USA), and from 1999 to 2006 was Associate Professor of Trombone and Jazz Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Don has recorded two jazz-based albums featuring his own compositions, is a featured performer on The Essential Rochut (Belle Records) project, and can be heard on dozens of movie and television soundtracks.
Ken Murray (guitar), has developed a singular career as a guitarist combining performance, composition, teaching and research. He has championed and recorded Spanish music from the early twentieth century, worked extensively with contemporary Australian composers and has been active as a performer of Brazilian and South American musical styles. He graduated PhD from the University of Melbourne, where he is Lecturer in Guitar at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. His PhD thesis is titled Spanish Music and its Representations in London (1878-1930): From the Exotic to the Modern.