Brothers have horns aplenty

Published: Friday, Oct. 13 2000 12:06 p.m. MDT

PROVO — Since the day their father marched four young boys into Brigham Young University for some serious trumpet lessons, the Brunson Brothers have been giving their dad a lot of lip.

In fact, they've never stopped, even when — as brothers do — they disagreed philosophically with one another for a time.

"Our mom wanted us to learn an instrument, but our dad didn't want us to start and quit," said Arlan Brunson. "So he took us to BYU for six hours a day for trumpet lessons for two weeks, thinking that would kill or cure us. His plan backfired, because at the end of the two weeks, we all loved it."

Arlan, the eldest, and Gaynor, the youngest, live in Provo, where they have a recording studio, from which they can produce their music and record for others. "We didn't like the environment in L.A.," said Arlan Brunson. "There's nothing like the Provo Canyon Trail, where we skate almost every day."

Raland and Deron Brunson live in Sandy, where they, too, have a recording studio. The brothers currently have separate business interests, but they are coming together on their customized Bach horns — the first time since the 1980s — for a concert on Thursday, Oct. 19, as part of the SCERA Encore season in Orem. They also hope to produce a variety show pilot for net-work television in the near future.

The Brunsons also provided the warm-up for the Smothers Brothers during a performance at the SCERA Shell this past summer.

In addition, they are remixing their most recent CD release, "Forgotten City," which features a number of talented backstage artists who rarely get into the spotlight — Sting's drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Celine Dion's guitarist Michael Thompson, Santana's percussionist Luis Conte, Michael Jackson's guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., Linda Ronstadt's pianist Jon Gilitun, TOTO's guitarist Steve Lukather and flamenco guitarists Strunz and Farah. (Strunz and Farah will also join the Brunson Brothers at the SCERA on Spanish guitar.) "We've always made an effort to include our friends and fellow musicians," said Arlan Brunson.

They're currently looking for sponsorship and financial support.

In the meantime, the Brunson Brothers are in the process of reminding fans that they've never left the business, although for a space of about 10 years, some of them performed as a trio and duo while the various brothers went on missions for the LDS Church.

They have plans to link up with the SCERA Foundation and possibly go on tour after the remix of "Forgotten City" is released.

Norm Nielsen, executive director for the SCERA Foundation, said the Brunson Brothers are extremely talented not only as musicians but also as recording and technical experts in the industry.

"They just need that 3-minute golden record to really go big," Nielsen said. "If there's anything we can do to help their careers within the scope of our present mission, we want to do it."

The Brunson Brothers appeared twice on NBC's "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" and have performed 30 national television spots. They made 150 live appearances throughout the United States and Canada with Liberace and were included in the "Christmas in Washington" TV special with former President Ronald Reagan.

Gaynor Brunson claims to be able to perform the fastest triple-tongue trumpet numbers heard anywhere, and Raland boasts of hitting the world's highest note. "It's a full step higher than anything Doc Severinsen can play," Arlan Brunson said. "The Tonight Show band gave us a standing ovation."

They're totally at ease with one another on the stage, working with an outline of numbers but no written script.

"We just ad lib," said Arlan Brunson. "Gaynor and Raland are probably the biggest comedians. Deron's pretty straight, and me, I just try to keep the act together."


E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com

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