St. Louis Brass Quintet is one of the longest-established and best-known brass chamber ensembles. It was founded in 1964 by members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. It began by playing children's concerts in the St. Louis area. One member of its original roster remained with the quintet until the year 2000, trombonist Melvyn Jernigan.
The quintet plays three ten-day concert tours in the United States each year, plus international touring. By the year 2000 they had given over 2,500 concerts. All its members except Jernigan are professors at various music schools throughout the United States. The only time the entire group gets together is when they go on tour: they meet in the first city of the tour a day before the first concert, hold two rehearsals, and begin the tour. They get in additional rehearsals as needed.
However, they all will have individually practiced and learned the parts of all the tour repertory, which ranges from standard brass quintets and newly commissioned classical works, brass quintet transcriptions of older works, and arrangements of jazz, pop, and show music. The members of the group have learned to work together quickly in this manner. Usually a "director" emerges for each composition to settle artistic issues.
The five members of the quintet are: Allan Dean, trumpet, is a professor of music at the Yale School of Music, and a longtime figure on the New York musical scene as a member of the New York Brass Quintet. He is a founding member of Summit Brass and plays cornetto in the original-instruments Calliope: A Renaissance Band.
Ray Sasaki, trumpet, is a professor of music at the University of Illinois. He is a founder of the new music ensemble the Tone Road Ramblers who has been on the board of directors of the International Trumpet Guild. He has commissioned several new works for trumpet.
Thomas Bacon, horn, is an experienced orchestral player (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra) who is professor of music at Arizona State University. He is the editor of The Complete Hornist, a series of publications for Southern Music Company, and is in high demand for master classes and clinics, which he has given at hundreds of universities and colleges.
Melvyn Jernigan, trombone, is the only member who does not have an academic appointment. He is a graduate of Curtis Institute of Music and a founder of the quintet. He is the manager of Primo Concerts, a booking agency that represents Summit Brass and the St. Louis Brass Quintet, and is a record producer.
Daniel Perantoni, tuba, a professor at Indiana University School of Music, is a founder of Summit Brass and a member of the Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort. With Robert Tucci, he designed the Perantucci line of low brass instruments and mouthpieces that have become a worldwide favorite among players of those instruments.
The quintet records for Summit Records, and served as the auditioning panel for the original personnel of Summit Brass, America's leading larger brass ensemble.