A local musical group will be taking a big stage next week performing the National Anthem before an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game.

Ahwatukee Brass, a brass quintet, will be performing at Chase Field before the Diamondbacks take on the Washington Nationals Thursday, June 2.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident and quintet member Mike Downey said the performance will be extra special because of how close it will be to Memorial Day.

"It's an honor to play the National Anthem in public, especially close to Memorial Day weekend," he said. "We are honored just to play (the National Anthem)."

The group includes Downey on trumpet, Jeff Hugus on trombone, Roger Moore on tuba, Heather Stewart on French horn, and Skip Welch on trumpet.

The group has played in multiple locations around Ahwatukee Foothills, including at Tasting Ahwatukee and the surrounding areas. They can be seen most months playing at Mountain View Lutheran Church, which is where the band originally met and came together.

It quickly became apparent to Downey that these five musicians were a good fit.

"When any group of people come together to play music, there is a time of growth," Downey said. "We learned how each other reacts and we can read each other. It makes performing enjoyable."

Ahwatukee Brass auditioned at Chase Field in March and learned the group was selected to play before a game a few weeks later. The fact they were an all-instrumental group did not deter the Diamondbacks from choosing them.

"Most are singers so we weren't sure if they would want a group like us," Downey said. "But we're honored to be selected and the Diamondbacks have been a pleasure to work with."

He added that the New Orleans Jazz is the quintet's favorite style to play together, but that they also throw in Baroque and classical style as well.

"(New Orleans Jazz) is very upbeat," Downey said. "It has much more foot tapping and people like to clap along and get involved."

Along with the performance at Chase Field, Ahwatukee Brass will be playing at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th St., on Sunday, May 29. To find out more, visit www.AhwatukeeBrass.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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